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Britons see migration as a problem

More than two-thirds of Britons see immigration as more of a problem than an opportunity, a report has found.

People in the UK were more pessimistic than those in the United States, France, Germany, Italy or Spain, the annual Transatlantic Trends: Immigration survey showed.

Britons also felt more strongly than the other western countries that immigrants take jobs away from native workers.

But most also thought there were more immigrants in the UK than there actually were, with Britons estimating that immigrants accounted for 31.8% of the population, while just 11.3% of the population is actually foreign-born.

The survey found 68% of those in the UK thought immigration was more of a problem than an opportunity, compared with 53% of those in the US and a European average of 52%. And almost three in five people (58%) in the UK agreed that immigrants took jobs away from British workers, compared with 57% in the US, 36% in Spain, 30% in Italy, 25% in France and just 23% in Germany.

People in Britain also felt more strongly than other Europeans that immigrants were a burden on social services, with 63% agreeing with the statement compared with an average across the continent of 53%,

The poll of about 1,000 people in the UK also showed that Britons were most wary of immigrants with low educational levels when compared with equivalent surveys in the United States, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Less than one in five (17%) Britons were in favour of admitting more immigrants with low educational levels, compared with a European average of three in 10 (29%).

But three in five backed calls for the involuntary return of illegal immigrants and more than two-fifths thought reinforcing the UK's borders was the best way to tackle illegal immigration.

The survey also showed that just two in five people in the UK saw immigration as culturally enriching, while one in two emphasised its negative effect on culture.


From Belfast Telegraph