Research Manager

British people tend to say we should accept no more than 10,000 refugees – but many say we should accept none at all

On Wednesday EU ministers had a meeting in Brussels to discuss the refugee crisis which has escalated tensions between European countries in recent days. After a marathon session mandatory quotas were agreed to divide up to 120,000 refugees among members. This was faced with strong opposition by some member countries like Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic, while Slovakia has launched a legal challenge. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has welcomed the EU measures including improvement of border controls and establishing proper registration of migrants in Greece and Italy. However, the solution is “far off” said Merkel, warning much more needs to be done.

Britain has opted for its own approach to the refugee crisis. On September 7th in a speech to the Parliament David Cameron revealed Britain will take in 20,000 refugees over the next five years.

A new poll from First Verdict, the YouGov daily opinion-sharing app, finds that 43% say the number of refugee intake should be 10,000 of fewer. 22% of British people think the UK should take in 10,000 refugees, with 21% saying we should take none. When asked the same question 16 days ago, 28% were in favour of 10,000 refugees and 20% said none.

In both the new and previous research 13% said they were not sure about the number of refugees that should be allowed into Britain.

The poll showed an interesting gender split, with men significantly more likely than woman to say we should not take in any refugees: zero refugee intake was supported by 24% of men and 17% of women.

In terms of politics 32% of Conservatives and 21% of Labour supporters say UK should take 10,000 refugees.

The plan of the British government is based on accepting refugees directly from camps in areas bordering Syria assuming this would discourage people from the risky trip across the Mediterranean. David Cameron said it was important that "we show solidarity" and pointed out that Angela Merkel welcomed the UK statement.

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