New research shows a lack of trust in the UK government regarding immigration
New research published by the think-tank British Future, alongside anti-extremism charity Hope not Hate, has revealed just 15% of Britons feel that the government has handled UK immigration competently.
The research, which was conducted via an online survey alongside 130 community meetings across 60 UK locations paints a sorry picture regarding the UK public’s views on the government’s role within the immigration system. The report, which collected the views of almost 20,000 UK citizens, is critical of government efforts with regard to UK immigration. Just 17% of those surveyed stated that they had trust in what the government was telling them about the reality of UK immigration, whilst even fewer – 13% – had faith in what MP’s in general told them about the matter.
Alongside this stinging criticism of government transparency regarding migration to the UK, other findings from the research suggested that the UK public are more balanced in their views on UK immigration than is reflected across UK media as a whole. 65% of respondents thought that migrants to the UK brought valuable skills to the country, and aided public services such as the NHS. Furthermore, 59% of individuals viewed diversity as a positive effect of UK migration on the culture of the country.
As a result of this research, British Future and Hope not Hate called for an annual ‘Migration Day’ to be observed in parliament, in which ministers can be held accountable for their performance against the current UK visa and migration strategy. The authors of the research also call upon the government to engage more directly with the UK public. One such means of doing this would be to establish an official ‘National Conversation on Immigration’ which would allow matters concerning UK immigration to be expressed in a constructive debate, in order to prevent concerns to be driven underground, or exploited by far right groups seeking to stoke division amongst sections of the UK.
In response to the report, the Home Office reaffirmed the UK government’s commitment to manage UK migration whilst continuing to attract and retain those migrants to the UK who bring significant benefit to the country.