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Department of Psychology

half of the UK flag and half European Union flag

Lee de-Wit and Tessa Buchanan (from the Political Psychology Lab) together with Alan Renwick (deputy director of the UCL Constitution Unit) find that most British people think EU immigration rules would provide “enough control”

In a recent YouGov sample, Buchanan and colleagues found that very few British people know about restrictions on freedom of movement allowed under existing EU regulations.

Only 13%  of the sample knew that the UK would be allowed to keep a register of where EU citizens live. And only 20% knew about the “three-month rule”, namely that under EU regulations, the UK can insist that EU citizens who want to stay for more than three months must meet certain conditions (e.g. being in work, studying or with enough money to support themselves).

Yet when they learn about the EU’s “three-month rule”, two-thirds (64%) say it would provide “enough control” over EU immigration, including 58% of Leave voters.

67% say that they would support the introduction of ID cards if it meant the authorities could enforce restrictions applied in other EU countries. 

The results back up previous findings by YouGov in 2018 on attitudes towards ID cards and EU immigration policy, and also the 2017 Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit, led by UCL’s Constitution Unit.

Amidst ongoing polarisation over Brexit, the results of this survey suggest that political parties willing to explore new approaches to EU immigration might well find support from the British population.

You can read more about these results on the LSE Brexit Blog

You can also find the YouGov data here (note question 3 is truncated, and should end “to what extent do you agree or disagree that this would provide enough control over EU immigration?”)


Repercussion in the Media: 


Rob Merrick published an article on The independent about the results.





Views expressed on the site are primarily those of the respective authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge.