Over 80% of British people want EU migrants to remain in the UK after Brexit, poll suggests

More than eight in 10 people in the UK believe EU migrants already living in Britain should be allowed to remain in the country after Brexit, according to a new poll.

The survey for the think tank British Future found that the proportion of people in favour of EU migrants remaining includes 77% of Leave voters and 78% of Ukip supporters.

In its new report, British Future said its ICM poll shows that most people in Britain fall into an "anxious middle" - concerned about the pressures of high level of migration but conscious of the economic and social benefits migrants bring.

12%

of respondents said they want the number of highly-skilled workers migrating to Britain reduced.

46%

said they want the number of highly-skilled migrants coming into Britain increased.

62%

want the number of low-skilled workers reduced.

EU supporters demonstrate in front of the Houses of Parliament. Credit: Reuters

Three-quarters of people surveyed said they agree with a "sensible policy to manage immigration" that controls who comes to the UK, but maintains a level of immigration that benefits the UK's economy and wider society, and helps refugees who need protection.

Just over half (53%) of people questioned said they think the number of refugees offered protection should be reduced, while 33% believe current levels should remain unchanged.

More than one in ten (14%) people believe Britain should offer more refugees protection.

Pro-EU supporters listen to speeches outside parliament during an anti-Brexit demonstration. Credit: Reuters

Jill Rutter, director of strategy for British Future, was quoted in The Guardian as saying: "There are sure to be changes to immigration policy once we know what shape Brexit takes.

"That will bring challenges but it also presents an opportunity – for a comprehensive review of a system that is widely believed to be failing and in which the public has lost all confidence.

"Rebuilding public trust in an immigration system that is competent, effective and fair, must be part of this process. Engaging the public in the decisions we make, through a national conversation on immigration, would help to start rebuilding that trust."