A new poll reveals that EU immigration control is the leading concern for British voters ahead of a possible referendum on whether to leave the Union, which is slated to take place in 2017.
The Sky News poll asked voters whether they would like to see the UK remain a member of the EU and what their biggest concerns about remaining a member state of the Union are.
The poll found that 51 per cent of voters would like to stay as part of the EU, with 49 per cent against doing so. However, 65 per cent of the survey’s respondents said that they would like to see Britain given greater control over selecting the EU immigrants who are allowed to settle in the country.
Currently, all EU citizens – aside from Bulgarians and Romanians – are granted the right to live and work in any EU country. However, with residency restrictions due to be lifted on Bulgarians and Romanians at the end of this year, there are fears in a number of EU countries, including the UK, that there could be a mass wave of Balkan immigration in the coming years.
The UK government is currently considering limiting benefits and access to the NHS for new migrants in a bid to put them off settling in the country.
Respondents to the Sky News poll were also asked whether they felt the UK’s membership of the EU harms or benefits the country. As far as the immigration issue is concerned the feeling is clear – 58 per cent thought membership harms the UK while only 26 per cent considered it a benefit.