It seems that people are more favorable over time that immigration makes the country a better place to live. Answers tend to be more favorable that there has been a recent hardening of attitudes in 2016 with a mean of 5.42 agreeing that immigrants make the country a better place to live compared to mean of 4.61 in 2012. By this indicator, the British people look more welcoming overtime.
Another important question that was designed to monitor public views on immigration is asking people whether immigration is good or bad for the country`s economy. From an economic point of view, the results of the questionnaire indicate the extent to which British people changed their perceptions over time. It can be said that participants shifted their views in a positive direction even in a smaller amount. Their views shifted over time in a way in which they believe that immigrants had a positive impact on the economy. It is no coincidence that people are more likely to shift their views in a positive direction over time regarding immigrant impacts on the economy since their satisfaction levels with the state of the economy also shifted in a positive direction over time.
In response to the question of whether the country`s cultural life is undermined or enriched by the immigrants, it seems that the views of the participants were slightly changed over time. Participants shifted their view both in negative and positive direction over time by a smaller amount. In 2016, people tend to have more favorable to the idea that cultural life is enriched by the immigrants compared to that of 2012 and 2014 respectively.
Since the average age for participants in three waves is close 52, it is quite expected that the people of this age are more concerned about cultural changes that might come with immigration in their society where they used to live for a long period of time than their younger counterparts. In the 2016 wave, as the participants' age increases, they tend to have a belief that cultural life is undermined by the immigrants.
Both 2014 and 2016 results revealed that British people tend to have slightly opposing views about the government`s generosity regarding judging the applications for refugee status. People think that there is no need for the government to be more generous towards the immigrants' applications.
Even though it was asked in only the 2016 wave, the results of the question of whether most of the refugee applicants were in real fear of persecution in their own countries revealed that British people slightly appear to favor the idea that immigrants made their applications based on a real fear of persecution.
It is really difficult to draw strong conclusions about the reasons why British people change their views and attitudes over time. However, there might be many factors that lead them to change their views. Factor that might have played a role include, but not limited to the incline satisfaction with the overall state of the economy. It might be clearly stated whether migrants contribute positively or negatively to the public purse is an important factor determining the perceptions of people regarding their views on immigration.
The next section would be the comparison of UK immigration outlook with other European countries.
Duffy, B., and Frere-Smith, T. (2014). Perceptions and Reality: Public Attitudes to Immigration. Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute.