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Disbanding the tribes – what the referendum told us about Britain (and what it didn’t)

There is common ground on the issue of immigration between Leave and Remain voters who disagreed on the referendum question, finds this report from British Future, ‘Disbanding the tribes: what the referendum told us about Britain (and what it didn’t)‘.

Most share nuanced views on the pressures and gains that immigration brings to Britain and a desire for a system that can be trusted to work  – and will both need to be involved in the debates to come on how we manage immigration.

Three quarters (74%) of the public, including 84% of Leave voters and 69% of those who voted for Remain, agree that “Immigration brings pressures as well as gains and our decision to Leave the EU gives us a chance to change the system. What we need now is a sensible policy to manage immigration so we control who comes here but still keep the immigration that’s good for our economy and society, and maintains our tradition of offering sanctuary to refugees who need our protection”.

Those on the losing side, the report argues, need to work through the grieving process to its final phase – acceptance – and become a strong voice in the debates we must now have about the kind of Britain we want to be after Brexit.

We need to disband the referendum’s 48% and 52% tribes and move on.

The Government, too, will need to engage both sides of the referendum debate and involve the public more in the decisions we make on immigration.

The report draws on new ICM polling for British Future conducted immediately after the referendum.

It finds that there is more in common between the two referendum tribes than we think – which is why they must now be disbanded as we seek constructive solutions to the challenges of making Brexit work for all of us.


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