Brexit Without Borders. How will Brexit's impact on immigration affect the economy?

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2017

22 Pages, Grade: Distinction


Table of Contents

Abstract .. 2

Introduction .. 3

Considerations about migration .. 3

Immigrant workers as an economic factor for the UK .. 4

A recent history of immigration to the UK and related legislation .. 5

Considerations about Brexit .. 7

The history of the UK’s relationship to unions of European states .. 8

Brexit and changes in immigration laws .. 9

Other considerations .. 10

The other side: What does emigration mean to the countries people leave? .. 10

Similar recent changes in policy in other nations .. 11

Analysis of pondered topics.. 12

Conclusion .. 14

References & Bibliography .. 15

Appendix .. 20


Considered one of the deciding factors for Brexit, the subject of immigration has been in vogue in mainstream politics. Many claims regarding how immigrants are negative for the British economy are brought by politicians and the public alike. But are such ideas true? Additionally, how will Brexit affect the economic significance of immigrant workers after changes in legislation? Through an assessment of the current data available on the economic meaning of immigrants to the UK’s economy, and of the territory’s historical relations with immigration law and groups like the European Union (EU), alongside the consideration of the purposes of Brexit regarding migration policies, this study came to relevant conclusions. The overall beneficial consequence of the current level of immigrant workers was found to be adamant, reflecting the resolutions drawn by previous studies and reports – although, interestingly, not by so many political speeches and manifestos. Consequently, the prospects of the expected impact of Brexit on immigration – that is, lowering the yearly inflow of migrants – are negative, and could possibly damage various industry sectors and areas of the economy.

Key words: Brexit – Immigration – Immigration impact on Economy – UK Economy – Brexit impact on immigration.

1 Introduction

What is given up when control is “taken back”? This essay seeks to examine Brexit’s impact on immigration, and how such may affect the economy. In lieu of this broad topic, a few assessments shall be made on related topics to draw the main conclusions.

The economic significance of immigration has been a subject of much discussion in recent years, and the topic was one of the main concerns of both sides regarding Brexit. It is therefore important to assess the theme. The UK’s recent relationship with immigration law shall also be analysed, envisioning not only contextualisation of the general legal situation of immigrants in Britain, but also to compare previous legislation to post-Brexit prospects. The period analysed, in order to maintain some brevity, will be between 1946 and 2016.

Additionally, the UK’s relationship with institutions like the European Union (EU) shall be analysed, both to give context for the present political and economic situation and to better comprehend the objective of “regaining control of borders” that was a central theme of the Brexit campaign. The current prospective regarding changes in immigration law due to Brexit must also be examined as to provide basis for the conclusions this essay pursues to reach.

Other considerations, such as the overall landscape regarding immigration in other countries and the significance of the migratory movements towards the UK for other countries will be assessed with the objective of providing more balance and depth to the ponderations and conclusions presented in this piece of work.

2 Considerations about immigration

Migration to a country may happen under a multitude of conditions. One may migrate with the intent and the permission to work in the country they have moved to, although this might not always be the case. For the purposes of this research, however, people who were born outside the UK and do not hold British nationality (therefore not considered UK nationals by the Government), yet have the right to work in the UK will mainly be the ones assessed when analysing more recent legislation and the economic significance of immigrants. Such is given as the aforementioned group is currently the most discussed within debates regarding the United Kingdom’s Migration Policy, playing a central part in the Brexit campaign and vote.

2.1 Immigrant workers as an economic factor for the UK

What do immigrants mean for the UK’s economy? The answer for such enquiry is not a unanimous one amongst politicians and within the population. Consequently, the debate over the matter has generated a number of studies and reports related to it, some of which are here assessed.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published, in their latest report, that an estimate of 3.48 million people of non-UK nationality currently work in the UK – a steep rise from the “just over 1 million” in 1997. This figure represents around 10.9% of the United Kingdom’s labour force, with 2.24 million of migrant workers being of EU origin, and 1.24 million coming from non-EU territories. ONS concludes that the rise in the number of non-UK workers is directly connected to the UK’s relationship to the EU and the latter’s acceptance of more nations throughout recent years (Office for Natinal Statistics, 2017). The percentage of non-UK nationals is even higher in some sectors, and both the NHS and various construction-related institutions - such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) - have come forward to express the importance of such employees in their respective workforces and services (Smith, 2016) (Rodionova, 2016). Such data and positioning from different industry sectors can be used to argue that not only do non-UK nationals have a significant role in the labour force, but are a positive factor in the opinion of employers and members of different industries.

Regarding Fiscal Policy, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) concluded, in their latest report, that, in the long-run “net migration being lower than would otherwise have been the case would push debt higher”, meaning that, overall, the United Kingdom’s revenue and, consequentially, GDP would be negatively affected by a lower number of immigrants coming into the territory (Office for Budget Responsibility, 2017). Dustmann & Frattini presented results that suggest that the overall fiscal impact of immigrants in the UK has been positive (2014), and Dhingra et al. (2016), through a study published by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), found that immigrants do not represent a negative effect on the availability of jobs and on the wages of UK nationals, instead having a positive impact: The majority of immigrants were more likely to be economically active and more highly educated than their British peers, thus stimulating the economy and the job market. These results, which reflect conclusions from other previous studies, contradict the opinions that immigrants do not contribute financially to the United Kingdom, but damage it – opinions presented very often by politicians who advocate pro-Brexit (Stone, 2016).

Although this essay does not seek to attempt to generate unity of opinions regarding the significance of immigrants to the UK as a whole, given that the topic is, admittedly, too broad and complex to be discussed in a short essay, a conclusion regarding the economy can be drawn from the ideas previously presented. Considering the large number of supporting evidence and studies, the overall positive impact of a “high” yearly rate of incoming migrants is adamant, and a fall on such numbers is likely to be disadvantageous for Britain, as will be further discussed in other sections.

2.2 A recent history of immigration to the UK and related legislation

According to Abrahámová (2007), the number of immigrants coming into the United Kingdom began to increase significantly after World War II, especially from European countries and, since the numbers from such nations – albeit high – were not enough to fill the gaps in the labour force, also British Colonies like the Virgin Islands. Such movement is mostly attributed to the need of workers that post-war Britain faced, and was incentivised by the Government. Due to the newly high flow of incoming migrants, the British Nationality Act was passed in 1948, giving the right to work and settle in the UK for those born in nations of the British Empire (ibid.).

The ever-growing inflow of migrants was not very well received over time, however. Abrahámová (2007) brings attention to the relation between the anti-immigration sentiment present in Britain in the 1950s and 60s and racial prejudice against non-white migrants, who mostly came from within the British Empire and were considered, by law, British. As the tension grew over the subject, indirect measures that envisioned lowering immigration levels – such as making proof of identity more difficult and incentivizing colonial governments to “tighten” the emission of passports – were taken by the British Government, specifically targeting those who came from Commonwealth territories (ibid.). This ultimately lead to the Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1962, with the intention of undercutting the number of non-white immigrants coming in from Commonwealth countries – a noticeable, though unofficial, objective, as people from Ireland were not subject to the same border measures as ones from other territories, amongst other differences (ibid.). In rather ironic consequence, the 1962 Act triggered a steep rise in the inflow of migrants from the affected territories to arrive before the governmental measure was officially running (Brown, 1995). It is important to denote that public perception of non-white immigrants was unfavourable, as ideas – not very different from the ones about immigrants present nowadays – such as “immigrants did not contribute to the economy” spread (Abrahámová, 2007).

In 1968, a new, more strict Commonwealth Immigrants Act was put in place. Amongst the few amendments made to the 1962 version, a new rule is particularly of note: the differentiation between “belonging” citizens, who had provable evidence of ancestors born in the British Isles, and those who did not have such ancestry or proof of it, deemed “non-belonging” citizens (Abrahámová, 2007). Such policy made it particularly difficult for non-white citizens of the “New” Commonwealth – composed majorly by developing countries – to settle in the United Kingdom in comparison to their mostly white “Old” Commonwealth counterparts. Therefore, it can be correlated to the racist and anti-immigrant sentiment that already begun to bleed into legislation (ibid.). The concept of “belonging” was changed to “patrial” in the Immigration Act 1971, though the conditions for such classification in the eyes of the Government did not change significantly – and, therefore, neither did the implied prejudice of the policies (BBC, 2017). The British Government also offered to pay for the expenses held by “non-patrials” who intended to leave Britain permanently, in an attempt to stimulate emigration of such members of society (Abrahámová, 2007).

The 1980s brought other major legislative milestones for immigration. The British Nationality Act 1981 changed, among other things, the basis of the parameters used on the decision to grant someone British citizenship (from jus solis to jus sanguinis) and created three different categories of citizenship for those born in Commonwealth nations, cementing the conditions for immigration for the people of such territories (Abrahámová, 2007). The Immigration Act 1988 implemented a very important rule: citizens of the European Community were allowed free movement to and from the UK, and did not necessitate leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom – although this was changed by the temporary restrictions put upon Bulgarian and Romanian Immigrants after their countries joined the EU in 2007 (BBC, 2013).

A large quantity of asylum seekers from Eastern Europe began to enter the United Kingdom as refugees after the fall of the Iron Curtain, which prompted more changes in legislation (Abrahámová, 2007). It became an offence to employ people who did not hold the right to work and live in the UK – thus restricting the potential beneficial economic impact of a number of immigrants, which was assessed in this essay’s previous section – according to the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, and the right to benefits was removed from refugees by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, establishing the National Asylum Support Service to be responsible for such aid instead (BBC, 2013). The Nationality, Immigration, and Asylum Act 2002 introduced the requirement of an English test and a citizenship exam for immigrants, while the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004 brought a single form of appeal that is still in use nowadays (ibid.).

Limitations on the rights of immigrants of non-UK and non-EU nationality became progressively stricter in the last decade, as the powers of immigration officers rose significantly - the ladder especially after the UK Borders Act 2007, which also implemented the biometric permit cards, yet another form of document to register non-EU immigrants (BBC, 2013) - and the power to question and verify an immigrant’s status through a series of measures were also extended, particularly by the Immigration Act 2014. Penalties for illegal workers and their employees became greater through the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and the Immigration Act 2016. Perhaps the most significant recent change in immigration laws has been the introduction of the five-tier points-based system for granting visas following the Act of 2006, as this is currently the basis for migrants to be allowed to enter and work legally in the UK (BBC, 2013).

Through this assessment, one may notice the trend of restricting migration rules and immigrants’ rights as a form to discourage immigration. Often throughout British history, it is possible to see that the desire to lower the inflow of foreigners came from a place of prejudice, as was the case with the “New” Commonwealth nations, and/or economic misconceptions (considering also what was gathered in this essay’s previous subsection), which may damage the UK’s economy.

3 Considerations about Brexit

Brexit is the term used to refer to the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, following the Referendum held in June 2016, where 51.9% of the population voted to “Leave” against 48.1% voting to “Remain” (BBC, 2016). One of the main concerns of those who opted to leave was “taking back” control over the net migration inflow of the United Kingdom (Travis, 2016). As will be here assessed, such desire to distance the UK from EU-like groups in order to regain sovereignty over administrative decisions and policies has been a recurring theme in British politics, and the perception of a necessity to strengthen border control has been one of the main subjects of Brexit plans so far.

3.1 The history of the UK’s relationship to unions of European states

Looking back at the recent history of the UK and its relationship to Europe, it is possible to see that Brexit did not come from an “overnight change” in British society and politics. In the mid-1940s, after World War II had badly damaged many European nations, the idea of creating a “United States of Europe” was proposed by the then British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who defended the founding of a union between the nations of Europe, much similar to the present-day EU. Since then, however, the political stance that Britain should not join the proposed group, but instead only be a “close ally” to the union of European states has also been present in British politics – and by that time, defended by Winston Churchill himself, amongst others (Churchill, 1946).

In the 1960s, Britain applied three times to become a member of the European Economic Community (EEC), and was vetoed twice by Charlies de Gaulle, the then President of France (BBC, 1967). After de Gaulle resigned, however, negotiations about the UK’s entry of the Common Market began to take place again, resulting in Britain’s official entrance of the EEC in January 1st 1973. Nevertheless, the advantages of such political and economic move were not unanimously appreciated (BBC, 1973).

In 1975, a referendum was held to decide whether the United Kingdom should stay in the Common Market, due to the unceasing controversy with which Britain’s entrance of the EEC had been met. On the 5th of June of that year, 67.2% of the voting populace chose “Yes” to remain in the EEC, against 32.8% who voted “No”. In respect of the people’s choice, the UK remained in the EEC (Butler & Kitzinger, 1996). The UK’s membership of the EEC and other concoctions of European nations would be called into question more times throughout the following decades – by the 1983 Labour Party Manifesto, for example, where Britain’s exit of the Common Market was a part of a five-year economic plan (Clark, 2008) – and became especially relevant after September 16th 1992, a day also known as “Black Wednesday”.

After joining the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) in 1990, the Pound was supposed to maintain its inflation rate low, as the ERM intended to facilitate the transition into the Economic and Monetary Union that lead to the use of the Euro (Pettinger, 2016). However, the UK saw a deep recession soon after joining the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (Pettinger, 2008). This ultimately lead to “Black Wednesday”, and such crash of the Pound resulted in Britain’s exit of the ERM (BBC, 2005). Subsequently, although not its sole reason, the UK did not adopt the Euro as a new currency, despite being a member of the EU. The objective of such choice was to maintain the Government’s sovereignty over its economic and fiscal policies.

In light of the events aforementioned, and considering the results of the 2016 Referendum regarding Britain’s membership of the European Union – which resulted in the consolidation of Brexit – one may conclude that, although the UK had been a proponent of the creation of a union of European states, as can be seen in Winston Churchill’s speech at the University of Zurich (1946), the extent of the United Kingdom’s involvement in such group was the subject of debate for decades, thus demonstrating that the Euroscepticism which highly influenced the outcome of the Referendum held in June 2016 was not a new sentiment amongst the populace and politicians alike. The creation of political parties such as UKIP, with the objective of separating the UK from the EU and similar institutions also represents how the subject has progressively gained more importance throughout the years (Hunt, 2014). The recurring desire to maintain a certain level of sovereignty over different aspects of regulations and policies that touched the UK is also of note, as it can be connected to the proposal of regaining full control of borders – an important aspect of Brexit overall, and of great relevance to this essay specifically.

3.2 Brexit and changes in immigration laws

The future of immigration policy is unclear. Currently, we are yet to know how the negotiations between Britain and the EU will play out – not even the actual proposals to be made by the Government have been defined. It is possible to gather, however, a few paths that the new immigration policy might take.

The idea of “gaining control of borders” was a point made repeatedly by “Leave” supporters. Therefore, one can presume that the immigration policies post-Brexit will halter the freedom of movement enjoyed by EU citizens, and is likely to present minimum requirements for the permission to live and work in the UK - although this is not completely certain, as the agreement could follow the model set by Norway, which preserved the freedom to work in the country for EU nationals (Vargas-Silva, 2016).

An “Australian-style points system” has been suggested multiple times as an option for the admission of EU citizens into the UK. The Migration Observatory (2016) pointed, however, that the implications of such policy – albeit dependable on the way the Government would design it, and though it may lower the inflow of EU migrants – might actually increase immigration from non-EU citizens. This would be an outcome contrary to the objectives of the Government and its recurrent proposal of lowering the yearly inflow of immigrants that Britain receives (Sumption, 2015).

Another possibility would be to simply apply the already existing regulations used to grant visas for non-EU people to EU citizens. Sumption (2015) described it as “the most obvious scenario” and assessed the idea, concluding that the new restriction would make immigration much more difficult for EU citizens, and such might lead to a surge in net migration prior to the validation of the changes – which, as seen in subsection 2.2 of this essay, has supporting historical evidence. The prospect of a rise in the number of illegal workers and immigrants is also a possibility of this setting (ibid.).

Though EU immigrants who already live and work in the UK are not expected to be highly affected by the forthcoming changes in policy, they might not be left fully still either. As suggested by The Migration Observatory (2016), their rights of residence may be lost upon unemployment, which might only affect those who do not hold permanent residence – a status that can be obtained by EEA national after residing in the UK for a minimum of five years.

4 Other considerations

4.1 The other side: What does emigration mean to the countries people leave?

Emigration, in a simplified view in lieu of brevity, has two main possible meanings for the country one has left: a positive outcome, where the country gains from the knowledge and experience acquired by those who emigrated and either came back, reinvested, or maintained ties with their nation of origin (Sandefur, 2014); or a negative result, as described by Collier (2014), that comes from the loss of skilled students and professionals, known as a “brain drain” – an interesting example of this is the situation lived by Puerto Rico, which lost “one doctor a day” in 2014 (CNNMoney, 2016). The ultimate significance of emigration depends largely on the conditions of the sending country and of the migration (Sandefur, 2014).

A specific case that is directly touched by the freedom of movement within the EU is that of the Central, Eastern, and South Eastern European (CESEE) countries. Bittersweet results from emigration were found by a study conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), concluding that although emigrants sending remittance to their countries of origin presented positive aspects for CESEE nations and their respective GDPs, and while the EU overall benefitted from the inflow of workers, the sending countries tended to suffer from the losses in their labour forces and on potential economic activities that could have been made by those who left, such as consumption of goods and services and investments in the local business environment – which, though stimulated by remittances, would have likely benefitted more from workers if they had remained (Atoyan et al., 2016). The researchers proposed investments by the respective governments in the labour market of the CESEE countries, accompanied by incentives for the return of emigrants and raising the inflow of immigrants by recognising foreign qualifications, amongst other measures (ibid.). As presented in the report, the UK is not a part of the top five territories that, jointly, receive the – rather large – majority of CESEE immigrants (72% in total), and instead configures the broadly named “rest of Europe” category – which excludes four European countries present on the aforementioned “top five”, and together receives 21% of the total of CESEE immigrants (ibid.).

4.2 Similar recent changes in policy in other nations

The political landscape in other countries with close ties to Britain might influence the changes in policy regarding immigration, as the topic’s exposure grows exponentially with globalisation and other factors. It is thus important to assess, albeit superficially in lieu of being succinct, the positions on immigration of some nations similar to the UK.

France is a relevant topic to be considered, since it is another prominent member of the EU that has seen the uprising of support of their own Brexit, dubbed “Frexit”. After a number of attacks on French soil by religious extremists with foreign associations, a desire for tougher border control – in their case focusing more strongly on asylum seekers, not EU citizens – began to spread amongst parts of society, and, consequently, politics (Marlière, 2016). The country’s possible leave of the European Union might put the entire group of nations in jeopardy, not only because of direct economic and political changes, but also by possibly contributing to the popularisation of Leave and anti-immigration movements (Almeida, 2017). Such changes are not expected to happen, however, as the pro-EU politician Emmanuel Macron was elected President of France in May of 2017 (Chrisafis, 2017). Perhaps this victory serves as a sign that the anti-immigration sentiment currently present in many countries is not as strong as it may seem, but this matter, as much relevant as it is for the present political and economic situation of millions of people, is yet to be fully defined; it would be of too grand naiveté to assume that the ideals endorsed by Marine Le Pen, the candidate who lost the second round of elections to Macron, will simply disappear because of the outcome of this presidential race (ibid.). The way scholars will look at this moment in history is still an unfinished puzzle.

The United States of America’s impending immigration policy reform, promised by President Trump and the Republican Party during the elections in 2016 with the objective of strengthening border control, could also influence measures taken by the British Government because of popular demand. The spread of negative perceptions of immigrants and their economic consequences, a sentiment that helped define both the Brexit Referendum and the US’ latest Presidential election, although in different societies, represents the fear of immigration and economic misconceptions that can – and have – become a significant part of legislation and social treatment of those of foreign origin in both nations (Demianyk, 2016).

5 Analysis of pondered topics

In a brief and direct answer to the question proposed in the subtitle of this essay, the overall impact that Brexit is most probable to have on immigration will be negative for the British economy. In lieu of the considerations brought in the past sections of this essay, one may see that the impact of Brexit on immigration is currently undetermined, as the actual changes in policy are still rather undefined. Nevertheless, there is a fair number of sources assessed, such as the Migration Observatory, that provide analyses that fall back on previous historical and political cases to justify their conclusions. Therefore, it is possible to speculate on the possible outcomes for Brexit’s impact on immigration and the consequential economic effects.

It is safe to assume that the proposal of tightening border control and, consequently, lowering the yearly rate of incoming migrants made in the campaign in favour of Brexit will indeed be the object of the yet-to-be-defined changes in legislation, as it has been a historically accurate conclusion to the people and politician’s desire to lower immigration (Abrahámová, 2007). As such, and given that all the possible changes in policy considered by the sources found and assessed, like the Migration Observatory and Sumption (2015), shared the aforementioned objective, one can conclude that the general impact of Brexit on immigration will be that of lowering the number of migrants accepted into the UK every year.

One may also, through the analysis of the data provided by a multitude of studies – some of which are directly assessed in section 2.1 of this body of work – draw a conclusion about the general impact of immigration on the British economy. Considering the results presented by the ONS (2017), OBR (2017), and others, it was possible to reach the conclusion that the overall significance of immigrants for the British economy is positive under the current rate of incoming migrants.

Therefore, as the immigrant population represents a considerable and valuable part of the workforce, with workers often of higher levels of instruction, lowering the number of immigrants accepted into the UK would reflect badly in a variety of sectors, being thus also detrimental to the society and economic environment of Britain. This vision is shared by representatives of industry sectors such as the NHS (Smith, 2016) and by academic researchers, like Dhingra et al. (2016). The prospective result of Brexit on immigration is also deemed unfavorable for the economy regarding Fiscal Policies, which is supported by the Office for Budget Responsibility, who stated that “net migration being lower than would otherwise have been the case would push debt higher” (2017), amongst other sources.

However, not all seem to be affected so directly by Brexit’s changes on immigration policy. The countries that people emigrate from, within a Eurocentric context, and given the short ponderation provided in section 4.1, will continue to lose workers to foreign territories, but will still receive a considerable amount in remittances (Atoyan et al., 2016). Nevertheless, other nations may be affected differently, if the laws also change for non-EU countries – for example, if the Australian-style system is implemented, as judged by Sumption (2015), it is possible that the number of non-EU immigrants will rise. The bittersweet consequences of immigration, as presented by Collier (2014) and Sandefur (2014) would, thus, be heightened. The sending countries may be further affected, however, by the interchangeable influences suffered and raised by nations that, like Britain, have the intention of changing their immigration policies (Demianyk, 2016) (Almeida, 2017).

6 Conclusion

From the data provided by the sources examined in this essay, and considering the final analysis from section 5, it is possible to conclude that the overall expected impact of Brexit on immigration will be negative for the British economy, although it alone may not affect so much the countries workers emigrate from. However, this is not the only conclusion learned from this body of work.

One can notice a few recurring themes in the topics pondered in this report. The idea that immigrants are a negative factor for the UK’s economy, for example, is a key one. Refuted in section 2.1, various recent studies have found that the opposite of that concept is true – immigrants do have a generally positive impact in the British economy at the current rate of yearly arrivals, both in the job market and public finances (Dhingra et al., 2016) (Office for Budget Responsibility, 2017). Therefore, and considering the outcome of the 2016 Referendum, it is possible to conclude that misconceptions about the economic significance of immigrants to Britain have affected political choices by the populace and politicians alike – something that can be noticed through analysing section 2.2 as well.

The desire to “take back control of borders” is also frequently seen. In an examination of section 3.1, it is possible to notice that regaining sovereignty over various types of legislation was the reason for conflicts between the UK and EU-like institutions – such as when Britain left the ERM (BBC, 2005). It can also be observed in more specific relation to the subject of immigration in the data presented in sections 2.2 and 3.2 – such as in the ever-more-complex immigration laws and the impending reform they are facing.

Thus, in lieu of the resolutions previously drawn in this section, one might find that a simple and impartial discussion on the topic of immigration would be beneficial. Awareness of the actual economic significance of immigrants and of the political and socioeconomic objectives of the UK as a whole would be important to trace a prudent plan regarding policies and political stances.

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Vargas-Silva, C., 2016. Potential Implications of Admission Criteria, Oxford: s.n.


Extended literature review of main sources

In lieu of the controversial nature of politics, it is relevant to assess the availability and reliability of the sources used in this study. This is an extended analysis of the sources themselves, a compliment to their use in this body of work. Generally, a relative lack of detailed and reliable sources on the topics analysed was a challenge for the composition of this report, especially with sections 2.1, 2.2, and 4.1, as most (if, depending on the matter, not all) of the available resources presented similar data and conclusions.

In section 2.1, the two main sources of data cited are the Office for Natinal Statistics, 2017 (2017) and the Office for Budget Responsibility (2017). ONS is the largest independent body that gathers and processes statistical data in the United Kingdom, and works alongside the UK Statistics Authorities. The OBR is also an independent body that pays service to the Government, and the parameters for such collaborations are set out in a Memorandum of Understanding (available at Those credits demonstrate that the sources are considered reliable by the British Government – an important factor, considering that one of the main issues debated in this essay were Governmental policies and legislation that regarded measures directly related to the aforementioned sources’ findings. The data on the material that was available and related studies read on the subject of section 2.1 drew converging conclusions amongst themselves and with this very paper.

Abrahámová (2007) was chosen to be the primary source for section 2.2 due to the level of detail, relevancy, and availability of their work, which provided a detailed history of immigration policy in the UK. The subject of prejudice (especially racial) was a central theme of their work, and the mention of such view on the implications of the legislation analysed, within a historical and cultural context, was deemed relevant for this piece of work. The ultimate decision to include such aspect of the assessment was made after consulting other publications that demonstrated evidence and concluded similarly to Abrahámová, such as Brown (1995).

Other historical research, which configured different parts of section 2.2 and the whole of 3.1 was mostly done through journalistic pieces (either modern or from the given time period, depending upon availability, level of detail, and relevance). The ponderation and assessments of possible bias was done considering in each publication individually, through fact-checking of the reportings and context.

The Migration Observatory served as a very important source for the considerations in 3.2 and the subsections under 4.0. An economics research institution of the University of Oxford, their publications are often cited by studies and media outlets, such as The Financial Times and The Independent. Their aim is to generate impartial and evidence-based assessments on immigration. The large group of renowned researchers involved in the varying studies and the respectability and methodology of Oxford were considered when pondering the use of this and related sources – such as Collier (2014), Sandefur (2014), and Sumption (2015), who all either have or currently do work for/with research laboratories at the University of Oxford. Admittedly, having a unifying institution for sources assessed might heighten a report’s vulnerability for bias, but the limited access to relevant work on the subject lead to the necessity to cite a considerable number of sources that can be affiliated, in one way or another, to the University of Oxford.

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Brexit Without Borders. How will Brexit's impact on immigration affect the economy?
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Brexit, Economics, British Economics, EU, Immigration, Migration, Immigration Policy, UK, UK Economy
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Victória Reis Silveira (Author), 2017, Brexit Without Borders. How will Brexit's impact on immigration affect the economy?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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