A new report has claimed that people in the East Midlands are the only English region to be pro-European-immigration, but says that residents ‘hate funding Brussels’.
The report, by Cambridge Economist and author Terry Flynn, used a method called ‘choice modelling’ to get the opinions of 965 members of a national panel across 12 counting regions in the UK.
Of that 944 respondents were used ti show the importance of attitudes towards five ‘key principles of European integration’: the single market, the free trade area, the customs union, the free movement of people and the government net financial contribution to the European Authorities.
In his report, Mr Flynn says: “European immigration has a ‘positive net favourability rating’ in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but in England its only in the East Midlands – in fact in fact the East Midlands could be characterised as ‘the most welcoming to European migrants’” of any of the 12 counting regions of the 2016 EU referendum.”
Mr Flynn’s report also found however, that the East Midlands was the ‘least amenable’ to the EU budget – money spent by Brussels rather than West Minster.
In comparison, those in the South West were the least amenable to freedom of movement, but were the most agreeable to the EU budget.
The East of England was least amenable to the Single European Market, with Scotland being most in favour.
Yorkshire came out on top in the free trade agreement, which was most disliked by the North West.
The Customs Union was most liked by the West Midlands, but least liked by the South West.
The report also concludes, ahead of the recently announced General Electiion that the Conservative party and its allies (DUP and UUP in Northern Island) will be returned with a ‘much increased majority, given current policies’.
The report was written prior to Labour’s Keir Starmer’s, the shadow Brexit secretary’s, announcement on the party’s immigration policy on Tuesday. At the time, it said that if Labour returned to its roots ‘as an anti-EU party looking after the interests of domestic voters’ it could win.
However, Mr Flynn told The Standard that following the announcment he felt Labout were about to ‘make a huge mistake’.
“The issue here is the trade-off that people may make at the end of the day, They have got to come to an overall decision on how much of Brexit they want and whether its a major issue in their choice of party in the General Election.”
He said that if Jeremy Corbyn chose to downplay Brexit in favour of the NHS or Education that could have an effect on his party’s chances.
Choice Modelling is a Nobel-Prize-winning form of survey which is said to give far greater insights into national attitude.
Mr Flynn has written a textbook on the method.