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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Brexit uncertainty driving EU migrants without 5 years’ residency out of UK, says IPPR

New IPPR work today further calls for a radical skills strategy for construction

Marley Morris, IPPR senior research fellow, commenting on today’s long-term immigration statistics from the ONS, said: 

“Today we have new evidence that there has been a Brexit effect on EU migration. While there is no mass ‘Brexodus’ of EU citizens, it is nevertheless true that net migration has slowed since the referendum, and this is driven in part by EU citizens leaving the UK.

“Our analysis suggests that EU citizens who have been in the UK for less than 5 years are particularly likely to be leaving. Given the proposed five-year residency requirement for settled status, this suggests that uncertainty over future status is a significant factor behind this emigration.

“Given migration patterns are now already changing, the government needs a twofold approach.

“First, it needs to send a clear signal to EU citizens (and to business) that their rights will be protected.

“Second, it needs to plan now to boost investment in skills domestically. Today, we’ve called for a radical skills strategy for construction, including a new construction productivity and skills levy to increase investment.”

The ONS migration statistics indicate that in the year ending June 2017 total long-term net migration to the UK was 230,000, compared to 336,000 in the year ending June 2016. This is largely due to a fall in net migration of EU citizens of 82,000, driven by falls of both EU15 citizens from the old member states and A8 citizens from the Eastern European 2004 accession countries. It should be noted that the migration figures are estimates only and subject to considerable sampling error.

IPPR’s analysis of the migration statistics suggests that in 2016 there was a statistically significant increase in emigration of EU citizens who had been in the UK for 1-4 years, from 45,000 to 77,000 (significant for EU15, A8, and A2 citizens). However, there was no significant increase in emigration for EU citizens who had been in the UK for 5 years or more.

Ends

Contact

Sofie Jenkinson 07981 023031 S.Jenkinson@ippr.org

Notes 

Read IPPR’s latest report on migration and the construction sector ‘Building Britain’s future’ here: https://ippr.org/research/publications/building-britains-future This research shows that if the UK extended non-EU visa system to EU nationals, just 7% of EU-born construction employees would have been eligible to work in the UK

Read IPPR’s latest report on Brexit and migration ‘Striking the right deal: UK-EU migration and the Brexit negotiations’ here: http://www.ippr.org/publications/striking-the-right-deal

‘EU15’ refers to the ‘old’ EU member states, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. ‘A8’ refers to the Eastern European 2004 accession states, including Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. ‘A2’ refers to the 2007 accession states, including Bulgaria and Romania.

IPPR aims to influence policy in the present and reinvent progressive politics in the future, and is dedicated to the better country that Britain can be through progressive policy and politics. With nearly 60 staff across four offices throughout the UK, IPPR is Britain’s only national think tank with a truly national presence.

Our independent research is wide ranging, it covers the economy, work, skills, transport, democracy, the environment, education, energy, migration and healthcare among many other areas.