Urgent action is needed to restore public trust on immigration, according to a new report from the largest-ever public consultation on immigration, which finds striking lack of trust in Government.
 
New polling by ICM for the National Conversation on Immigration, coordinated by British Future and Hope not hate, finds that: only 15% of people feel the Government has managed immigration competently and fairly, only 13% of people think MPs tell the truth about immigration, and just 17% trust the Government to tell the truth about immigration.  Yet researchers also found a strong contrast between polarised online and media debates and the balanced views on immigration expressed by those they spoke to. While people do want the UK Government to have more control over who can come to the UK, most of them are ‘balancers’ who recognise the benefits of migration to Britain, both economically and culturally, but also voice concerns about pressures on public services and housing.
 
Researchers held over 130 meetings with local citizens and stakeholders in 60 locations across every nation and region of the UK, together with an online survey completed by more than 9,000 people and a nationally representative survey.  In the North-East researchers visited a number of areas including Berwick on Tweed, Newcastle, Durham, Middlesbrough and Whitley Bay.  Across the UK they found much public support for high-skilled migration and pragmatic views about medium and low-skilled migration.  Most people support the principle of refugee protection.  At the same time, there was public concern about some of the local impacts of immigration, with people wanting tighter immigration controls after Brexit.  
 
The National Conversation on Immigration final report makes a series of recommendations, including a focus on local integration.   An executive summary report is also available.