The Poll Archive RSS

iraq_4
(08/16/07) -

Britons Divided Over Offering Asylum to Iraqis

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Adults in Britain are split on providing special treatment to Iraqi nationals who helped British troops during the coalition effort, according to a poll by YouGov published in the Daily Telegraph. 38 per cent of respondents think Britain should offer asylum to as many as 15,000 Iraqis, while 42 per cent disagree.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Adults in Britain are split on providing special treatment to Iraqi nationals who helped British troops during the coalition effort, according to a poll by YouGov published in the Daily Telegraph. 38 per cent of respondents think Britain should offer asylum to as many as 15,000 Iraqis, while 42 per cent disagree.

Britain committed troops to both the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and the United States-led coalition effort in Iraq. The conflict against Saddam Hussein’s regime was launched in March At least 3,999 soldiers have died during the military operation in Iraq, including 168 Britons. 45 per cent of respondents support a troop withdrawal within the next year or so, while 29 per cent think all soldiers should leave Iraq immediately.

According to the Ministry of Defence, as many as 20,000 Iraqis have worked alongside the British military, including interpreters, cooks, and contractors. The government had repeatedly warned Iraqi nationals not to expect any special treatment when applying for asylum in the United Kingdom. Earlier this month, British prime minister Gordon Brown ordered the review of 91 applications from Iraqi interpreters.

Labour lawmaker and chairman of the home affairs committee Keith Vaz said the Iraqi interpreters deserve exceptional consideration, adding, “The government will lose a lot of good will and support if these people are left to try and survive on their own. The Home Office and other departments must recognize the greater picture and find a way forward.”

Conservative shadow foreign secretary William Hague voiced support for a solution, saying, “As a matter of honour, we have to look after (the interpreters) one way or the other if they have a genuine case.”

Polling Data

As many as 15,000 Iraqi nationals, including interpreters, have given assistance to British forces in Iraq since 2003. Some say their lives could be at risk when Britain leaves. Should they be given special treatment and offered asylum in Britain?

Yes, they should be given asylum

38%

No, they should not be given asylum

42%

Don’t know

20%

Should Gordon Brown bring Britain’s troops home from Iraq?

Yes—all troops should be withdrawn immediately

29%

Yes—most troops should be withdrawn soon, and
the rest within the next year or so

45%

No—British troops should remain in Iraq as long as
Iraq’s government wants them there

19%

Don’t know

6%

Source: YouGov / Daily Telegraph
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,966 British adults, conducted on Aug. 9 and Aug. 10, 2007. No margin of error was provided.