Research published this past weekend suggests that fewer than a quarter Brits support the European Union’s Freedom of Movement policy.
A poll, carried out by ComRes on behalf of the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror newspapers, revealed that support for the idea that people from any other EU country should have the right to live and work in the UK has plummeted from 58 per cent in 2009 to just 23 per cent today. What’s more, 57 per cent said they openly opposed the policy – which is enshrined in the EU treaties – up from 38 per cent four years ago.
The results of the poll arguably reflect the fears that a large percentage of the population have with regards to a mass wave of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania moving to the UK once residency restrictions are lifted from citizens of the two countries – which both joined the EU in 2007 – at the start of next year.
The poll of 2,001 adults also found that there is strong support for putting British people first when it comes to employment. Some 67 per cent of voters said UK firms should give priority to British workers over other European nationals when making appointments – with only 16 per cent disagreeing – while 74 per cent feel it is wrong for British firms to hire anyone from overseas, at a time of such high unemployment in the UK.