Immigration to the UK has been growing in recent years, reaching its highest level on record in 2016. As the figures have increased, so have popular concerns about pressure on public services and the impact on British identity and social cohesion. The Brexit vote highlighted more than ever before the urgency of addressing these concerns if the UK is to remain a tolerant and open society.
Across Europe in the context of the recent refugee crisis and terrorist attacks, resentment towards immigration has also been growing. Populist parties have seized on immigration and integration to magnify their voices and increasingly challenge mainstream parties.
This publication is the culmination of a 12-month comparative research project exploring the similarities and differences in narratives on immigration in the UK and three north-western European countries – France, Germany and Sweden. It explores what the UK can learn from its European neighbours, and how we can come up with new inclusive narratives and policy actions, which at the same time take account of people's concerns about immigration and integration in a changing world.
Acknowledgements / Introduction / 1. Existing Narratives / 2. Attitudes and Concerns about Immigration / 3. Case Studies / 4. New Narratives / Conclusion / References