A new poll has revealed that the majority of British people would welcome refugees from places like Syria into their local communities (56%), and nearly half would like to see the UK accept more refugees (47%).
The poll, published today by the BBC and ComRes, shows strong support for welcoming refugees, with 55% of people asked saying that accepting refugees is a sign of ‘Britain at its best’.
The poll also proves the British public has not been swayed by attempts to demonise refugees, with 65% saying the attacks in Cologne were carried out by a small number of people and should not affect our willingness to accept migrants into the UK.
Faced with a lack of safe and legal routes to reach Europe, last year over 1 million people were forced to attempt deadly journeys to safety across the Mediterranean, with the vast majority escaping some of the world’s biggest refugee producing countries. Shamefully, 3,771 people lost their lives during the perilous journeys.
This year, over 67,000 people have already attempted the crossing – 44% of them women and children.
Despite public support for welcoming refugees, the British Government has refused to help share responsibility for the refugees arriving on Europe’s shores; leaving men, women and children to endure a march of misery across the continent as they desperately try to find a safe haven.
Responding to the poll, Refugee Council Head of Advocacy Dr. Lisa Doyle said: “It’s clear that many people in Britain have been deeply moved by the deadly refugee crisis unfolding on Europe’s doorstep.
“It’s extremely encouraging that the majority of the British public think that helping refugees from places like Syria is a sign of Britain at its best. We have a proud tradition of protecting refugees and the desire to help others is undoubtedly part of what makes Britain great.
“Now is the time for the Government to demonstrate the same generosity of spirit, by offering more of the men, women and children arriving on Europe’s shores the protection they so desperately need.”