Immigration high on Brits' list of concerns

23 Mar 2016 | Posted by Carl Thomas

 Research has revealed that immigration is high on the list of issues worrying people in the UK.

Conducted by Opinium Research, the poll, which was commissioned by the Observer, found that immigration is a leading concern for 53 per cent of those questioned.

With the upcoming referendum on whether or not the UK should remain in the European Union, the questions had a European focus. However, for Brits, immigration and the NHS appear to be bigger concerns at the moment.

Just 31 per cent said that Britain's membership and relationship with the EU is one of the UK's three top concerns at the moment, while an even lower percentage (23 per cent) said that it is one of their most important personal issues.

However, when the pollsters narrowed their questions to just 'Brexit' supporters, the figures changed noticeably with 50 per cent stating that it is a major issue, compared to just 15 per cent of those who support the 'Bremain' campaign.

Age is another factor determining how important Britain's status with the EU is to people, with just 12 per cent of those aged between 25 and 34 stating that it's a big issue,compared to 53 per cent of those aged 65 or over.

The opinion poll comes as a report from PwC for the Confederation of British Industry has predicted that job numbers will rise significantly if the UK remains part of the EU. The report said that the number of people in work by 2020 is expected to be 32.2 million if the UK votes to stay; it warned that this figure could fall by as much as 950,000 if the country fails to secure a free trade deal with the union.

Lower levels of migration as a result of changes to free movement are expected to be one of the main reasons behind a drop in jobs in the UK should the country vote to leave.

The EU referendum will take place in the UK on 23 June this year.