Britons are more positive than most towards immigration, shows a new survey from Ipsos Mori on global attitudes towards migration, but the burden on the country’s public services remains a concern.
Intensifying debate about border controls and rising migration levels, especially in the run-up to the general election, have done little to dampen public opinion about immigration.
Three in 10 feel that migrants benefit the UK, a figure that’s risen by nine percentage points since 2011, and is above the global average of 21 per cent.
Britons are more likely than others to believe that immigration ”benefits the economy” and “makes the country a more interesting place to live”, with two in five agreeing with these statements.
Bobby Duffy, managing director of Ipsos Mori, commented:
These international studies are useful in reminding us that Britain is far from alone in having concerns about immigration. In fact, many other countries in Europe and around the world are more worried than us about immigration and its impact, with Turkey, Italy and France often among the most negative.
Still, even Britons are not without concerns. The majority still feel negative toward migration, and UK respondents were particularly concerned with the burden immigration places on public services. 68 per cent worried about this, which Ipsos Mori suggests is a reflection of the focus of discussions in the media and politics:
We’re second only to Turkey in our concern that immigrants put too much pressure on services. This is a much greater concern here than other impacts, such as on the ability of Britons to get jobs.