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September 2017

Leave voters support high skilled immigration

Published: Tuesday 12 September 2017

By David Fuller 

A new poll reveals that people who voted ‘Leave’ in last year’s EU Referendum still support high-skilled immigration from the EU.

The survey, by independent think tank, British Future, found that 82 percent of Brexit supporters would be happy for high-skilled EU immigration to remain at current levels.

However, while there is support across the board to maintain high-skilled immigration, support waivers when it comes to those considered low-skilled.

Nearly two in three respondents (64 percent), including 50 percent of Remain voters, expressed a preference for a reduction in immigration from the EU for low-skilled workers.

"A new post-Brexit immigration system that differentiates between skilled and low-skilled EU immigration sounds like common sense to most people,” said Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future. “There is public support, across political and referendum divides, for an immigration system that combines the UK control demanded in the referendum with openness to the migration that our economy will continue to need."
The survey found that the high majority of respondents would like to see the migration of overseas doctors and nurses, scientists and researchers, engineers, IT specialists and business and finance professionals to stay the same or increase.

Three-quarters of those polled expressed a preference for the number of care workers coming to Britain to either stay the same or go up.

While 80 percent of Leave voters want to see a reduction in unskilled EU migration, the only jobs where more than 50 percent of Brexit supporters agreed there should be a cut are waiters and bartenders.

The other area where at least 50 percent of Leavers agreed there should be a reduction is in spouses and other family members coming to the UK to join workers already settled in the country.

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