Projects & Themes

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Immigration

Understanding public attitudes to immigration. Proposing reforms to restore public confidence that immigration can work fairly for all of us.

Britain’s post-Brexit immigration approach needs to rebuild public confidence and secure political consent, while meeting the needs of the economy, public services and our global obligations. That will require a much deeper level of public involvement, to address people’s anxieties and respond with a system that manages the pressures and secures the gains of immigration.

Advocates for the gains of migration do not have the public and political support they need. We work  with civil society, employers and political voices to develop public messages, policy agendas and broader coalitions to engage concerns effectively by proposing constructive solutions.

The findings from our National Conversation on Immigration project inform our approach to policy change.

British Future, together with Hope not hate and the Home Affairs Select Committee, conducted the biggest-ever public consultation on immigration in 2018. The National Conversation on Immigration comprised over 130 meetings with local citizens and stakeholders in 60 locations across every nation and region of the UK, together with an online survey and nationally representative research by ICM. In total 19,951 people took part. Read its final report here.

With less heat in the immigration debate, attitudes to migrant workers have softened

With less heat in the immigration debate, attitudes to migrant workers have softened Date: 16 March 2022

Heather Rolfe looks at the new Ipsos immigration attitudes tracker results, and finds increasing public support for migration for work.

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Public support for Ukrainian refugees reflects underlying positive views on immigration, finds new research

Public support for Ukrainian refugees reflects underlying positive views on immigration, finds new research Date: 14 March 2022

Public support for welcoming refugees is part of a broader warming of attitudes to immigration that pre-dates the Ukraine crisis, according to the latest wave of the Ipsos/British Future Unbound Immigration Tracker.

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What are Scotland’s choices within the new immigration system?

What are Scotland’s choices within the new immigration system? Date: 2 November 2021

Heather Rolfe considers the immigration policy options for Scotland, and the context of shifting public attitudes to immigration in Scotland and across the UK.

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Skills vs immigration: a false choice?

Skills vs immigration: a false choice? Date: 6 October 2021

Heather Rolfe reflects on PM Boris Johnson’s conference speech & suggests the public may not see a binary choice between skills & immigration.

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Warming attitudes to immigration create space for action to ease labour shortages

Warming attitudes to immigration create space for action to ease labour shortages Date: 14 September 2021

Public attitudes to immigration are more positive than negative across a range of measures, according to the latest findings from Ipsos MORI research that has tracked changing public attitudes to immigration across twelve waves of research since 2015.

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Protecting Afghan refugees

Protecting Afghan refugees Date: 20 August 2021

Letter to The Times urging a generous refugee resettlement programme for those forced to flee Afghanistan following the Taliban’s seizure of power.

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Marking 70 years of UK refugee protection

Marking 70 years of UK refugee protection Date: 28 July 2021

70 years ago, the UK and other countries signed the UN Refugee Convention. Since then it has saved thousands of people’s lives. To mark the anniversary, refugees from across those seven decades came together to celebrate this proud history – and to re-make that promise to welcome those who most need our help.

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‘What next for immigration?’ – conference report

‘What next for immigration?’ – conference report Date: 25 May 2021

Steve Ballinger reports from the ‘What next for immigration?’ conference, jointly hosted by British Future and Bright Blue.

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Thinking fast and slow: how will recovery affect attitudes to immigration?

Thinking fast and slow: how will recovery affect attitudes to immigration? Date: 5 May 2021

How will migration to the UK look in the future, and what will that mean for public attitudes? Asks British Future’s Director of Research and Relationships, Heather Rolfe.

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