The British public are the most unwilling in Europe to take in tens of thousands of migrants, a survey has found.
The poll, by French company Ifop, of seven European nations, found that the British were the most sceptical of allowing in swarms of migrants, with the French not far behind. Germany and Italy, on the other hand, were heavily pro-immigration.
When asked if they were in favour or opposed to their country taking in Middle East and North African migrants, just 44 per cent of Britons supported the idea. This was in stark contrast to Germany, where four in five respondents were in favour, despite Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policies producing her lowest approval ratings in three years.
Support was also high in Italy at 77 per cent and Spain at 67 per cent. France, on the other hand, was almost as sceptical as the UK, with only 46 per cent in favour.
Despite the apparent high support for migration in some countries, most people seem to want their governments to take all the responsibility for housing and feeding the migrants. Large majorities of respondents in all nations said they were not prepared to sacrifice any of their own time to help.
In Germany, only 31 per cent said they were prepared to put some personal effort into helping the migrants once they arrive, compared to 60 per cent who said they were not. In Britain, the most sceptical country, 10 per cent said they would give their time to help, compared to 88 per cent who said they would not.
Similarly, 86 per cent of French, 84 per cent of Dutch, 76 per cent of Danish, 70 per cent of Italians, and 68 per cent of Spaniards said they would not put in any personal effort into helping migrants, despite the majority in some of those countries happy to see higher numbers arriving.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020, but the results of the poll suggest the move will not improve his popularity.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that 84 Anglican bishops had written to the Prime Minister demanding he take in 50,000 migrants over three years, calling his pledge “too low, too slow and too narrow”, however this poll suggests they have little popular support.