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Poles want to stay in UK regardless of 'Brexit': Polish survey

The study conducted from June 15 to June 17 is the largest ever involving Polish migrants in Britain, which could vote to leave the EU in a referendum on Thursday. Photograph: (Getty)

AFP Warsaw, Poland Jun 19, 2016, 10.01 AM (IST)
Eighty per cent of the estimated 800,000 Poles living in Britain want to stay there even if it leaves the EU, while just three per cent want to return home, a poll published Sunday said.

More than half of the Polish migrants surveyed by Poland's IBRiS pollsters also said they intend to apply for British citizenship. 

The study conducted from June 1517 is the largest ever involving Polish migrants in Britain, which could vote to leave the EU in a referendum on Thursday.

A further 10 per cent of Polish migrants said they would move to another EU state if a Brexit meant they would have to leave Britain.

"Almost nobody wants to leave Britain," IBRiS chief Marcin Duma wrote in a commentary summing up the survey results. 

As non-citizens, the vast majority of Poles in Britain are not entitled to vote in Thursday's referendum.

Seeking a better life, Poles were the largest group of migrants to head to Britain after the EU's 2004 'Big Bang' eastern expansion.

Unlike other western EU members who kept up employment restrictions, Britain fully opened its labour market to EU newcomers from the east.

The IBRiS survey also found that nearly 80 percent of Polish migrants agreed with reforms pushed through by conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron to limit their child benefits, a hot-button issue in the referendum.

The IBRiS survey results were published on Sunday by the Polish Press Agency and the Polish Onet.pl website. 
(AFP)
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