A new poll suggests that the British government may have been right to make immigration one of its main focuses at this year’s State Opening of Parliament address earlier this week.
According to the YouGov poll, 57 per cent of people surveyed identified immigration as one of the three most important issues facing Britain today. Only the economy, which has topped the poll for the past three years, was deemed a bigger concern.
Of those concerned by immigration, 51 per cent are concerned that they could lose their job to a foreigner in the next two years.
The increasing concern about immigration in the country is being explained largely by the lifting of the residency restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens at the end of this year, which may feel will lead to an influx of Balkan migrants beginning to settle in the UK.
“The reason it has grown steadily over the last year and peaked at this all-time high now is to do with the expansion of the EU to include Romania and Bulgaria,” said Joe Twyman, director of political and social research at YouGov. “They are concerned the influx of foreign nationals will negatively affect the economy and jobs market.
“Immigration is something people perceive to be a problem for the country and is only growing as people perceive the Government as failing to curb the numbers coming to the UK.”
Queen’s speech focuses on immigration (9th May 2013)