A new poll, commissioned by the Open Britain campaign, shows that more than half (54%) of Leave voters are not prepared to be a penny worse off in order for the UK to regain control of immigration. This is a clear indication of the dangers for the Government of pursuing a hard, destructive Brexit where immigration policy is prioritised over other policies, like economic and trade policy, with family finances suffering as a result.
Specific groups within the Leave vote were even less inclined to be left poorer as a result of changes in immigration policy, including 59% of those in the North; 56% of those in the Midlands and Wales; and 63% of Labour voters who voted Leave. 47% of Conservatives who voted Leave would not be willing to lose any money from immigration controls and an amazing 55% of UKIP voters said the same.
The poll, conducted by YouGov, also shows that very few Leave voters are prepared to be left hundreds of pounds worse off in order to control immigration. Only 11% who back Leave would be prepared to more than £100 a month worse off.
The poll also reveals that very few Leave voters expect their personal and family finances to be affected at all by any changes in immigration rules, with 83% saying either it won’t have an impact or that they don’t know, with only 12% expecting them to improve and 4% expecting them to get worse. The fact that so few expect their financial circumstances to change as a result of controlling immigration may partly explain why so few are prepared to accept being left worse off by any changes.
This poll demonstrates why it is essential that the Government delivers a new settlement with the EU which protects the UK economy and families’ living standards. For Open Britain, this underlines why it is essential that the UK participates fully in the Single Market.
Nicky Morgan MP, supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said:
“This poll underlines the public’s desire for the Government not to let a blinkered focus on immigration control damage people’s financial prospects. A majority of Leave voters do not want to see their family finances harmed because of new controls on immigration.
“The Government will be doing a disservice to the country and to both Leave and Remain voters if it dogmatically pursues a hard, destructive Brexit where immigration control is the be-all-and-end-all, our economy is undermined, and people are left poorer. Many Leave campaigners were clear that the referendum was not about immigration but about issues such as sovereignty. Now is the time for them to step up and stand behind their statements.
“Leave voters were told they could have immigration control and economic prosperity, and the onus is on the Government to deliver that for them. That means aiming high in the negotiations, not conceding anything at the start, and putting maximum participation in the Single Market at the heart of their strategy, not treating economic policy as an afterthought.”
Peter Kellner, the former President of YouGov, added:
“This is the first time Leave voters have been asked if they are willing to accept any personal financial loss to gain immigration control and the answer is that most are not.
“The poll underlines the difficulty the Government faces, even with those who voted Brexit, if they choose to pursue an immigration policy which impacts on our economy and leaves people poorer.”
Notes to editors
The poll is an online poll conducted by YouGov for Open Britain, which surveyed 1,606 adults in Britain between January 11th and 12th 2017.
The respondents were asked: What is the maximum amount of money, taking account of job prospects, income, taxes and prices, you would personally be willing to be worse off by in order for the UK to regain control of immigration – or would you not be willing to lose any money at all?
The results of the poll are attached.
A previous poll by YouGov for Open Britain similarly found that half of Leave voters were not prepared to be a penny worse off as result of leaving the European Union.