The majority of British people believe the country is currently in the grip of a “migrant crisis” and the United Kingdom’s asylum and refugee laws are not working.
Exclusive polling reveals nearly two out of three people (64 per cent) strongly agree or agree that the UK faces a crisis – with a mere 12 per cent disagreeing.
The research by Redfield and Wilton Strategies comes in the wake of a landmark speech in Washington by Home Secretary Suella Braverman in which she claimed world leaders have failed to reform the international refugee system for fear of being branded “racist”.
Meanwhile, net migration is on track to top one million over a two-year period for the first time.
According to official figures more than 1.4 million migrants have won visas to work, study or flee oppression and conflict. The population is expected to grow by more than 500,000 in the 12 months to June.
The new polling shows the majority shared the Home Secretary’s assertion people should apply for asylum in the first safe country they arrive in, and that there is no “good reason” for people to come to the UK from France illegally by boat.
READ MORE: Hard ‘home’ truths needed to be said says Nick Ferrari
Sir John Hayes, a former security minister who is chair of the influential “common sense” group of Tory MPs, said the Home Secretary understood the frustrations of ordinary people. He said: “She’s in tune with the sentiments of the vast majority of law-abiding Britons who deeply resent people crossing our borders illegally with impunity.”
Sir John praised Ms Braverman for pushing for reform of international rules on refugees, saying: “Britain is leading the way and the Home Secretary is leading Britain”.
The polling found a large majority of people do not believe that the present asylum and refugee laws are working (61 per cent). Fewer than three in 10 (28 per cent) said the rules were working.
The Home Secretary used her speech in the United States to argue that “nobody entering the UK by boat from France is fleeing imminent peril”. And 54 per cent agree that nobody coming from France by boat had “good cause for illegal entry”, with just one in five disagreeing.
Alp Mehmet, of Migration Watch UK, said: “Governments have been pulling the wool over the public’s eyes for years. They have repeatedly promised to reduce immigration and sort out the Channel chaos.
“But far from solving problems, policies have made matters worse.
“These polling figures reflect the common sense of the British people who have seen through the duplicity and ineptitude that has overseen both illegal and legal immigration.”
The polling also suggests many people now doubt people claiming asylum have actually fled danger.
Nearly six out of 10 (59 per cent) thought asylum claimants were “merely seeking better economic prospects”, with just 28 per cent declaring they were “genuinely fleeing persecution”.
It is understood the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby “reached out” to the Home Secretary to discuss the Government’s policy on asylum seekers, but was rebuffed. The Home Secretary is said to have failed to agree to discussions.
The archbishop has said that plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda are “against the judgement of God”.
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