The latest BMG poll for the Independent finds that an overwhelming majority of the public want the government to guarantee the right of EU citizens to continue living and working in the UK after it leaves the European Union.

The poll asked respondents whether the UK government should “guarantee the right of EU citizens to continue living and working in the UK post-Brexit.” The results revealed that 58% said “yes”, 28% said “no” and 14% said they did not know.

When respondents are asked the same question, but this time with the context that EU states would reciprocate, support for the proposal increases. Respondents were subsequently asked “If EU countries are willing to immediately guarantee the rights of British citizens living and working in those countries to continue post-Brexit, should the UK government also immediately guarantee the right of EU citizens living and working in the UK” – an overwhelming majority of 66% backed the proposal, while 21% said “no” and 14% did not know.

A majority in support of the move is seen across every age and social group, and among supporters of every political party except those backing UKIP. While 69% of Conservative supporters, 76% of Labour supports and 84% of Lib Dem supporters back the proposals, just 43% of UKIP supporters do.

Among those who voted to Remain in the EU, 82% said “yes” the government should guarantee the rights of EU migrants currently living and working in the UK compared with 55% of those who voted to leave the European Union.


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Dr Michael Turner, Research Director at BMG Research, said “People’s views on immigration shape their support for this proposal. For those who say that immigration is the most important issue facing society, just 51 per cent say that May should guarantee EU national’s right to stay, compared to 70 per cent of those who think another issue is more important.

“However, although these groups are least supportive of the proposal, they are also most receptive to reciprocation by the EU on the right for residents to remain. For instance, those who think immigration is the most important issue, and those who identify as very right-wing, see the largest increases in support as the question context changes, with rises of 16 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.”

An article based on these polling results, released by the Independent, can be found here.

Fieldwork dates and methodology can be found here.

A full breakdown of these results can be found here.

For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.


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Lauren Harris – Senior Research Executive

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