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Change in public opinion after the Brexit vote

British Future, an independent think-tank has produced a report that shows that the government could strike a balance on immigration that would mean that immigration could be controlled but would stop a complete shutdown of immigration to the UK from EU citizens. The report cites a poll from ICM which showed that 71 percent agreed 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."

The result is one of many that show that those who voted to leave the European Union were not just trying to shut the door on immigration. It appears many of those voters were open to the idea that immigration came with benefits to the British economy, this is in direct contrast to many of the ideas put forward by the official leave campaign which had portrayed immigration as being a burden on the UK as a whole. The results of this poll mean that there is a broad consensus that immigration does benefit the British economy. This consensus means that a sensible debate can now really take place without the vitriol and propaganda that surrounded the referendum campaign. It also means that the government should soften its stance with regards to EU migration.

The government has pursued a case for a so-called "Hard Brexit" since the results of the campaign last June were announced. Current polling suggests that the government is not pursuing the will of the people, rather it is pursuing what it itself wants. Though with little push back from Labour on the issue of EU immigration, the government has had free reign on the issue of freedom of movement as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to be drawn on the subject on several occasions. This is much to the chagrin of many Labour supporters who would have hoped that Corbyn would have at least backed a softer version of Brexit than the one that is being offered by the government. Though with his lack of enthusiasm at toeing the party line during the referendum campaign, it is hardly surprising that it is not high on his current agenda.

The government has been widely criticised for not taking the publics wishes into consideration on the subject of Brexit. The government has seemingly decided to make up its own mind on what the people voted for in the referendum and ran with it. Polls consistently show that the country has a softer attitude to immigration than the government does and that is an issue that needs to be addressed if the Conservatives want to win the next general election, which could be sooner rather than later if many in the Conservative party get their way and oust the Prime Minister.

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