|dc.description.abstract||Introduction (part): In 2015, unprecedented numbers of migrants and asylum seekers travelled by sea to reach European shores in an attempt to flee war, conflict, widespread violence and oppressive governments. While peripheral European countries struggled to cope with the enormous numbers of people arriving on beaches, often on dangerously overcrowded and unsuitable rafts, key EU leaders began to seek a solution.
In the UK, immigration was never far from the headlines. In the run up to the 2015 UK General Election, immigration was consistently one of voters' most important issues when deciding their vote (IPSOS MORI, 2015). Additionally, one of the key promises made by the UK Independence Party (UKIP) to sway voters was to have a national referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, with a view to strengthening the UK's borders and reducing immigration. This was so popular that when the Conservative party - who had been criticised for their catastrophic failure in meeting lower immigration targets - won the election by a majority vote, they promised to deliver on the EU referendum which is now upcoming in 2016.||