Ever since the 2008 recession, the Brits have been sensitive to those around them, inhabiting their island and “stealing” their local jobs.
Politicians have jumped on the band wagon and have used xenephobia as means to get elected. Promising more job opportunities by restricting thoses outside the Europe from being able to freely work in the UK.
Relating to the British concerns, given that the United Kingdom is a third of the size of South Africa and that they host 13 million more persons (our 49m versus their 62m), one can understand that having a smaller country and larger population is reason for concern. The strain on public services and infrastructure plays a vital role here.
The British are concerned their population will reach 70m by 2027 and have since started a petition against foreigners entering the country: Say No to 70m.
This short sighted approach to resolving their population growth is expected to directly impact their economies performance and it’s ability to compete internationally against rising economies.
Further to their population concerns, recent heated debates around Student visas (being the most comprimised visa category since the removal of Tier 1 General category) has since risen.
Further details confirming the UK’s population concerns can be found here: BBC’s news.