Past, Present and Future of Immigration

Immigration was one of the main issues around the UK’s decision to leave the EU. The outcome of the General Election is likely to determine the design of a future immigration system, with party proposals ranging from the introduction of a post-Brexit “Australian-style” points system, to continuing free movement within the EU. This briefing focuses on:

Low-Skilled Employment in a New Immigration Regime: Challenges and Opportunities for Business Transitions

In an era of free movement UK employers have had ready access to a supply of labour from the European Union to fill lowskilled jobs. This has enabled them to adopt business models, operating within broader supply chains, that take advantage of this source of labour and the flexibility that many migrant workers – especially those who are new arrivals to the UK – are prepared to offer them.

Some recent developments in labour economics

This article takes a short personal ‘helicopter ride’ over the main policy issues in the UK labour market, putting them into the context of the developments which have taken place in applied econometrics. We overview NIESR’s role in the study of labour economics in postwar Britain and review some recent advances of importance in the current NIESR research agenda.

Post-Brexit Immigration Policy: Reconciling Public Perceptions with Economic Evidence

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, researchers from NIESR and Birkbeck explored public attitudes to EU immigration and how people use and respond to evidence on the economic impacts of immigration. Based on 12 focus groups with 105 participants in a Leave voting area of the UK, the report tests out ways of getting people to consider the economic evidence. In addition to survey and focus group findings, the report contains a comprehensive literature review on public attitudes towards immigration as well as on the economic impacts of EU immigration in the UK.

Our main findings are:

Facing the future: tackling post-Brexit labour and skills shortages

Alongside access to the singlemarket, EU immigration policy is arguably the most important issue facing employers and policymakers resulting from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. At the time of publication, shortly after the General Election result and with a hung parliament

Immigration: Taking back control?

Immigration and free movement were central to the referendum result – and to what happens next. My paper in November’s National Institute Economic Review examines the short and long-term impacts of the UK referendum on migration flows and migration policy.

Immigration after Brexit

This paper examines the short and long-term impacts of the UK referendum on migration flows and migration policy. Even in the short term – before any policy change – the vote will affect migration flows directly and indirectly through both economic and other channels. Post Brexit, two key issues will need to be addressed. Will the UK preserve a substantial measure of preference for EU citizens in any new system? And will policy tilt in a liberal or restrictive direction?

Immigration, free movement and the EU referendum

Immigration and free movement are central issues in the UK’s referendum on EU membership. Although free movement was a founding principle of the EU, it only became of central economic and political importance after the expansion of the EU eastward in 2004. For the UK, the economic impacts of recent EU migration appear to have been relatively benign, even for the low paid and low skilled. The UK’s recent ‘renegotiation’, which focused on the largely irrelevant issue of ‘benefit tourism’, will make little difference.

We need facts, not fiction, in the immigration debate

For some time opinion polls have shown that the public sees immigration as one of the most important issues facing Britain.

Changing the debate: video animation on the impact of immigration on the UK

Opinion polls have shown for some time that the public sees immigration as one of the most important issues facing Britain (Ipsos Mori, 2015). At the same time, public understanding of evidence on the economic impacts of immigration is poor and strongly influenced by the media. This in turn affects the quality and content of public debate and the policy formulation process. The question behind this report is whether attitudes towards immigration can be influenced by evidence, presented in a simple and straightforward way, through a short video animation.