31.10.2016

Migration, integration and Brexit

A Challenge poll has revealed that 58% of British people believe migrants are not integrating well into British society.

The poll conducted by YouGov was published today, just as the government prepares to release its major review into social integration, segregation and extremism and amid ongoing debate about immigration following Brexit.

The survey shows that a large majority of the population (85%) think it is important that immigrants integrate into British society. Interestingly, views on how well migrants integrate correlate with how people voted in the EU referendum. 79% of Leave voters think migrants aren’t well integrated, compared to 38% of Remain voters.

Other key findings include:

  • 35% of the population think that British nationals should be doing more to help immigrants integrate into British society.
  • Almost half of 18 to 24 year olds think migrants are integrating well (47%), while just 19% of those aged 65 or over agree.
  • 38% of the population think government should be doing more to help integrate immigrants.

Jon Yates, a director at The Challenge, said:

It’s likely that many Britons think migrants are not well integrated into British society because of the rapid changes in our communities and the fact that too few of us have meaningful contact with migrants – there are just not enough opportunities for us to do so.

Often this perception that migrants aren’t integrated is a misconception, but if we continue to feel this way our society will become increasingly segregated and rather than address the challenges of integration – and of segregation – we will just blame one another.

Unless we tackle this issue urgently, we could see a deterioration in community cohesion and even a recurrence of the sad and shocking events of the summer of 2011 when tolerance failed and riots erupted on our streets.

Jon Yates, director at The Challenge

If you’re interested in reading a bit more on this, take a look at Helping migrants integrate is a two-way street written by Jon and published in The Times today.