Opposition to Syrian refugee plan

William JordanUS Elections Editor
January 23, 2014, 4:04 PM GMT+0

People in Britain tend to be against admitting ‘a few hundred’ Syrian refugees into Britain, with the majority of Conservative and UKIP voters opposed

David Cameron today refused to rule out allowing more Syrian refugees to come to the United Kingdom, although he expressed doubts about joining a new UN sanctuary programme which could require Britain to accept a few hundred refugees. The refugee agency of the United Nations (UNHCR) wants Western countries to take in 30,000 refugees currently living in countries neighbouring Syria as part of the programme.

But the British public is not sold on the idea, according to a new YouGov poll for The Times. By 47% to 39% people in Britain are against joining European countries in admitting a few hundred Syrian refugees to settle here.

This issue is also a partisan one, although Liberal Democrats – whose leader, Deputy PM Nick Clegg, has reportedly been pressing David Cameron to support the UNHCR plan – are the only group to support the plan by a majority (59% to 27%). Over half (54%) of Conservative voters oppose the idea, while only a third (34%) support it, and UKIP voters oppose the plan by a margin of more than three-to-one (71% to 21%). Labour voters are split on the issue, with 44% in favour of letting more refugees into the country and 43% opposed.

Publicly Labour has expressed support for the proposal and on Thursday morning said the party would force a House of Commons vote on it next week.

Image: Getty

See the full YouGov/Times results

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