Opposition to immigration drops when people are told about the economic benefits of net migration, new research indicates. A YouGov poll found that the proportion of those questioned who viewed immigration negatively dropped from 63% to 54% after they were told that the government’s financial watchdog believes that higher immigration will help the economy grow and ease pressure to cut spending.
The results have prompted fresh demands for the debate on immigration to centre on facts as opposed to fear-mongering and inflammatory rhetoric.
The Office for Budget Responsibility says that, if net migration were stopped, in five years the public sector’s net debt would be £18bn higher than if it continued. Within 50 years, the debt would soar from 74% of GDP to 187% – higher than Greece’s 161% debt.