Brits would prefer that the UK took Jewish immigrants more than the idea of taking Muslim immigrants, and far more than accepting Roma, a new study has shown.
Researchers from the Centre for Social Investigation based at Nuffield College, Oxford, showed that only 7 percent of respondents would have a problem with Jewish migrants, whereas 17 percent opposed Muslims.
Topping the list of unwelcome foreigners were Roma (gypsies), with three in ten people suggesting that they would oppose the travellers’ immigration to the UK.
Overall, Britons were shown as more receptive to immigrants than continental Europeans, ten per cent of whom opposed Jews entering their country, and a quarter of whom would close the door to Muslims.
The study also showed that those in the UK were more welcoming of skilled workers from places like India and Poland, although attitudes shifted substantially when asked about unskilled workers from those countries, as they were regarded as a threat to housing, pay and public services.
“There is a clear hierarchy of preferred type of migrant,” said authors Anthony Heath and Lindsay Richards.
“Jewish people are more welcome than Muslims, who in turn are more welcome than Roma (gypsies). Professionals are preferred to unskilled migrants, and unskilled migrants from European countries are preferred to those from outside Europe.”