Europe

Anti-immigrant sentiments rise in UK: Survey

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Anti-immigrant sentiments are on the rise in Britain with more than three-quarters of the people saying that the number of new immigrant arrivals in the country should be limited, a new survey has found.

A survey by the British Social Attitudes showed that almost 77 percent of Britons supported a reduction in the number of the immigrants to their country. Out of the 77 percent, 56 percent wanted the arrivals cut by “a lot” and 21 percent, “a little.”

The study also revealed a sharp divide along class lines, with 60 percent of highly-paid and highly-qualified people viewing immigration in positive terms, twice the figure for workers from middle- and lower-income households.

The survey also revealed divisions among political party supporters, with some 40 percent of Labour party supporters saying immigration is bad and 36 percent saying it is good for the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, 52 percent of Conservatives think Britain’s cultural life is undermined by immigration into the UK compared with 20 percent of Liberal Democrats.

The latest results of the survey come nearly a week after working restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians were lifted on January 1.

British Social Attitudes’ chief executive Penny Young said the study “shows that public desire for a cut in immigration to the UK had begun to rise even before the restrictions on migrants from Romania or Bulgaria were lifted at the start of the year”.

According to Young, there are stark social divisions over the economic and cultural benefits of immigration despite the British public unanimously considering the immigration as too high.

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