Scotland welcomes EU citizens

The new eu+me campaign launched this week with key insights into public opinion about European issues as they affect us:

Polling by new pro-European campaign group eu+me has shown that the coronavirus pandemic has made people across the UK more sympathetic to welcoming EU citizens to live and work here, its latest news release says. 

eu+me has urged a “rapid rethink” in the UK government’s plans to end free movement when the Brexit transition period expires on 31 December this year. 

Across the UK, 63% of people agree that we will need more EU citizens to live and work here as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, while two thirds of Scots say they would welcome more EU citizens to make their home in the UK in these circumstances. 

68% of people in the UK and 71% of those polled in Scotland say they are more sympathetic to EU citizens living in the UK since the coronavirus pandemic struck. 

Commenting on the figures, eu+me Director Fergus Mutch said:

“These figures sink the claims made by the UK Government that people want to see an end to free movement. 

“The coronavirus pandemic has changed so much about how people see our place in the world, and our relationship with our closest neighbours. 

“The UK’s economy has taken a hammering in the past few months. If we want to give ourselves the best chance of rebuilding society in the wake of the pandemic then welcoming people with the right skills from the EU to live and work here is absolutely critical. 

“EU citizens are our friends, our family and our colleagues. They hold together our NHS and care sector, they are integral to the success of key industries, they exchange knowledge, ideas and drive progress in our universities and we depend on them heavily in the agriculture and hospitality sectors. 

“Erecting a £700 million border does nothing but impede recovery, and diminishes our place in the world. 

“It’s time for a rapid rethink and for the UK government to preserve the benefits of free movement for all our sakes.” 

Survey conducted by Survation.

UK-wide poll (sample size 1022, fieldwork 9-10 June)

The UK will need more EU citizens to live and work here as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic:

Agree                                      45%

Neither agree nor disagree     29%

Disagree                                 22%

Don’t know                              4%

Removing DKs and ‘no preference’ 

Agree                                      63%

Disagree                                  37%

I am more sympathetic to EU citizens living in the UK since the Coronavirus pandemic struck:

Agree                                      43%

Neither agree nor disagree     34%

Disagree                                 20%     

Don’t know                              3%

Removing DKs and ‘no preference’

Agree                                      68%

Disagree                                  32%

Scotland-wide poll (sample size of 1127, fieldwork 9-16 June) 

The UK will need more EU citizens to live and work here as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic:

Agree                                      43%

Neither agree nor disagree     27%

Disagree                                 22%

Don’t know                              8%

Removing DKs and ‘no preference’

Agree                                      66%

Disagree                                  34%

I am more sympathetic to EU citizens living in the UK since the Coronavirus pandemic struck:

Agree                                      40%

Neither agree nor disagree     40%

Disagree                                 16%

Don’t know                              4%

Removing DKs and ‘no preference’

Agree                                      71%

Disagree                                  29%

Read more news from the campaign here