Largest-ever public consultation on immigration shows lack of public trust

Urgent action is needed to restore public trust on immigration, according to a new report from the largest-ever public consultation on the issue. New polling by ICM for the National Conversation on Immigration, coordinated by SRT grantees British Future and Hope Not Hate, finds that only 15% of people feel the government has managed immigration competently and fairly; 13% of people think MPs tell the truth about immigration; and 17% trust the government to tell the truth about immigration.

However researchers also found a strong contrast between polarised online and media debates and the balanced views on immigration expressed by those they spoke to. While people do want the government to have more control over who can come to the UK and voice concerns about pressures on public services and housing, most of them also recognise the economic and cultural benefits of migration to Britain.

The National Conversation held over 130 meetings in 60 locations across every nation and region of the UK, as well as carrying out ICM polling and an open online survey. In total, 19,951 people took part.

The new report makes over 40 recommendations to national and local government, business and civil society. including an annual ‘Migration Day’ in Parliament, where ministers are held accountable for their performance against a three-year immigration strategy that replaces the net migration target. The report also advises that the government should start rebuilding trust on immigration by engaging with the public through an official National Conversation on Immigration, run by the Migration Advisory Committee.

The full report is available here.

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