Frustration remains regarding UK immigration policies

15 Dec 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Britons remain frustrated at the way in which the government is handling UK immigration, and it appears they are not alone.

A recent research paper from Transatlantic Trends has looked at the attitudes of Americans and Europeans towards immigration. It discovered that the majority of those questioned disapprove of the way in which their government manages immigration, with 68 per cent of Europeans and 73 per cent of Americans stating they believe that their government is doing a poor or very poor job in this area.

However, most people also said that they are in favour of centralised immigration policies over localised ones.

The survey noted that attitudes towards UK immigration are still tense, although Brits may favour immigrants with UK work permits due to the fact that they tend to be among the most highly-educated immigrants. In fact, just 17 per cent of Brits said that they were in favour of admitting more immigrants with low education levels.

However, around 40 per cent did see UK immigration as culturally enriching although around half emphasised its negative effect on culture.

The results demonstrate the complexity of the situation, especially when constrasted with the numerous calls from businesses to increase the availability of UK work permits to allow for the hiring of overseas employees.

The survey is a project of the German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the US, along with other international agencies including the Barrow Cadbury Trust UK. GMF president Craig Kennedy commented: “Policymakers should pay attention to the results of Transatlantic Trends: Immigration. The survey reveals that, even in tumultuous political and economic times, Americans and Europeans have stable feelings about immigration but are still frustrated with how their governments are handling the issue.”