"I'm not anti-immigrant but these people coming here are taking jobs from English people, they are pushing the NHS to bursting point and some of them just see England as easy pickings for benefits - we need to come out of the EU and get our country back."

So says Paul Karir, 56, who arrived in London 50 years ago when his parents left their home in India in search of a better life in the UK.

Karir now runs the clothing firm his father set up in Brick Lane, the east London street famous for its curry houses and often a target for far right protests against immigration.

He lives in the wealthy suburb of Chigwell, is a director of five companies, owner of several properties and is justifiably proud of the fact that all of his four children have gone to university - but he is planning to vote to leave the EU over immigration.

"I am obviously an immigrant but times have changed since my family came here," he says. "In the 60s there were lots of jobs. England needed the immigrants and people like my parents worked hard for everything they got and didn't expect handouts.

"Now you've got these people coming from Eastern Europe - don't get me wrong, some of them do work hard but a lot of them just want the benefits and the healthcare...The amount of tax I pay is unbelievable. I spend a lot of money on private health insurance for my family because you don't know if you can get the care on the NHS when it's under all this pressure from so much migration."

Karir's thoughts are echoed in pubs, cafes and sitting rooms across England. The murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox has fuelled questions about the state of English politics and the increasingly rabid discourse that surrounds key issues, particularly immigration.

The former colliery town of Easington in County Durham is one of the "whitest" places in England. According to the Office for National Statistics more than 98 per cent of people there are British.

It also has one of the highest rates of unemployment in England. It's a Labour stronghold when it comes to national politics but has a UKIP MEP - Jonathan Arnott.

Arnott believes his Easington constituents are increasingly likely to vote Out in the referendum - and that immigration is a key issue.

He says: "The fact that Easington is overwhelmingly white doesn't matter - so much of the immigration now is people from eastern Europe who are white but they are still changing the face of the country and adding to the burdens on things like the NHS.

"People here are telling me that there are fewer jobs and the jobs that are available are paying less because these people from places like Poland will do skilled work for the minimum wage."

Arnott's adds: "I know a lot of Labour voters who also voted for me and UKIP in the EU elections and feel deserted by their own party.

"They hate the fact that they are called racist for raising the immigration issue. There is a huge disconnect between ordinary working class Labour voters and the party leadership in Westminster."

At the other end of the country, the Kent port town of Dover is at the front line - literally - of the immigration battle. In the last two months there have been two violent days of protest - from both far right and anti-racist groups - with dozens of arrests.

On a clear day you can see Calais from the famous White Cliffs. Trucks coming out of the port are regularly searched for migrants and many locals will tell you that they are "overwhelmed" by the number of immigrants.

But at Eva's Cafe on one of the main streets in town, there is a different view. Eva Roberts, 32, came to the UK from Poland eight years ago and worked in the catering industry before buying the cafe.

She has built up the business with her sister and also provides hot meals and drinks for the homeless in collaboration with a local church.

"I am proud of what I have achieved. I have worked hard for it and have never relied on benefits or handouts," she says. "In Poland we were taught to look after the less fortunate which is why I welcome the homeless people.

"I am proud of being Polish but I am proud to live in England. This is my home. All the Polish people I know here work hard and are grateful that the EU means we can come here. I have experienced a bit of racism but it's ridiculous - the people who shout abuse are often the English people who are drinking, don't have jobs, are on benefits."

And what of the English people living abroad? Emily Ross, 26, is British. She is a classically-trained musician who moved to Lepizig in former east Germany to study for a Masters degree, in part because the tuition fees are cheaper.

Her mother and stepfather are expat retirees who live in the Costa del Sol in Spain. She has already completed a postal vote to remain in the EU.

She says: "I am yet to come across a convincing argument to leave, and there are an abundance of reasons to stay including personal ones for me such as being able to easily still live and work in Europe, which as a musician is a must.

"There's a lot of misleading information out there about immigrants and especially their relationship with our economy and job climate. What I think has happened is that certain media outlets and politicians have successfully managed to redirect people's anger at the current economic situation away from the banks, or the huge corporations that pay little to no tax, or even themselves."

She adds: "I find it ironic that a huge argument against people moving to the UK is that they don't learn English, or integrate themselves fully in society, when this could basically describe most of the British population currently choosing to reside in Spain.

"I know English people who have lived in Spain for over 20 years and proudly state that they can't speak any Spanish. They sit in their English bars, drinking English products, speaking only in English and complain that England is no longer England because of immigration."