Majority of British people hold positive view of immigration, survey reveals

59% thought that  immigration was very positive for the UK economy

Despite attempts by Tory politicians to whip up a moral panic over immigration, most people in the UK now have a favourable view of immigration and its impact, according to a new survey.

The findings of the European Social Survey reveal how public attitudes towards immigration have undergone a total U-turn since 2016, becoming more favourable.

The survey asked people to rank on a scale of 1 to 10 whether immigration was bad or good for the economy, whether cultural life was undermined or enriched, and whether it made the country a better or worse place to live, with 10 being the most positive.

In what will be a disappointing result for the likes of Suella Braverman, 59% thought that  immigration was very positive for the UK economy, ranking it between seven and ten, while 58% thought that it had enriched the country’s cultural life and 56% thought it had made the country a better place to live.

The Guardian reports: “In 2002 just 17% were very positive about the economic benefits, 33% thought it was culturally enriching, and 20% thought it made the UK a better place to live (2016: 44%, 46% and 39%).”

Tory MPs have repeatedly sought to portray immigration as a major concern for voters, with the likes of Aaron Bell, the MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, saying earlier in the year that immigration figures were too high and his voters would “expect to see them fall.”

However, the Tories are clearly once more out of touch with the mood of the country.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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