A new survey found that people in the UK are more accepting of immigrants than other countries in Europe. In particular, they expressed a willingness to accept Jewish migrants.
The Times reports that the study, which was conducted by the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, Oxford, found that seven percent of respondents would like to ban all Jewish immigration, while 17 percent would stop Muslims. An even larger portion, 30 percent, wanted to keep out Roma (the preferred term over gypsies).
People in 20 other European countries were asked similar questions. Ten percent said that no Jews should be allowed to enter, and over 25 percent wanted to keep out Muslims.
One of the report's authors, Lindsay Richards, says that the negative attitudes towards Jews are related to "historical persecution," but outweighed by the long history of Jews in Great Britain. As for the other two groups, "the more Muslims there are, the more members of the general population will have come into contact with them and therefore are less likely to be hostile to them," she said. "I think the negative attitude toward Roma maybe shows that generally people have not had contact with them."
Further questions suggested that most Britons care more about social class than national origin. Those questioned said they are happy to welcome professionals from either India or Poland, but they would not want unskilled laborers from either location to move in. Richards noted that "all else being equal, however, those surveyed said they would welcome migrants from within Europe over those from outside of it"