Brexit and the Impact of Immigration on the UK

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Series Details No.5 (May 2016)
Publication Date May 2016
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A reduction in immigration from the European Union (EU) following a vote for Brexit would not lead to any improvement in living standards for those born in the UK. Cuts in EU immigration would not offset the big fall in UK living standards caused by the reduction in trade and investment that would result from Brexit. These are among the conclusions of new research published in May 2016 in the series of #CEPBrexit reports.

The fifth in a series of #CEPBrexit reports - co-authored by Professor Jonathan Wadsworth, a former member of the Home Office's Migration Advisory Committee - analyses the impact of EU immigration on the UK, an issue that lies at the heart of the referendum campaign.

The researchers highlight the empirical evidence showing conclusively that EU immigration has not had significantly adverse effects on average employment, wages, inequality or public services at the local level for people born in the UK. Falls in average real wages of UK-born workers are more closely associated with the biggest economic crash for more than 80 years.

Ending free movement of labour would damage the national economy. First, it would curtail the country's full access to the Single Market. Second, it would lower GDP per person since EU immigrants have higher employment rates than the UK-born and therefore help to reduce the budget deficit. And third, there is evidence that lower immigration harms national productivity.

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Related Links
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union
The Independent, 12.05.16: EU immigration has no negative impact on British wages, jobs or public services, research finds
CEP: Publications: CEP BREXIT Analysis No.5, May 2016: Brexit and the Impact of Immigration on the UK
ESO: Background information: The ideologues within
The Conversation, 27.05.16: Latest migration figures make no economic case for Brexit

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