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EU citizens in the UK after Brexit

Research output: Working paper

Publication date23/06/2022
Number of pages20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameMIGZEN Research Brief


EU citizens in the UK after Brexit reports on the responses of 364 EU/EEA citizens who currently live in or have recently lived in the UK to the survey ‘Migration and Citizenship after Brexit’, which asked people about their experiences of migration and settlement after Brexit. The survey was carried out as part of the research project “Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit” (MIGZEN), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council under the Governance after Brexit programme [ES/V004530/1].

This is a largely settled population reporting plans to stay put in the long-term, with evidence of multi- generational settlement and changes to legal status to support long-term settlement in the country of residence. However, looking to the future, there is some divergence between those from older and newer EU member states in terms of migration plans and attitudes to mobility.

Among all respondents, perceived insecurity over legal status and right to residence is a primary concern and affects family relations and shapes thinking on future plans, particularly in mixed-status families.

Family, relationships and work are the main drivers for migration decision-making, both amongst those who have moved on from the UK since Brexit, and those who stayed put. They are also the main consideration for those who plan to move within the next five years.

Two third of participants said Brexit affected their feelings about Britain significantly and, for most, negatively.

Respondents express a strong attachment to the EU, triggered by the EU referendum and the Brexit negotiations that followed.

Covid-19 impacted on people’s attitudes towards their country of residence, less so towards country of origin and the EU overall. As far as the country of residence is concerned, respondents praised responses by devolved authorities but were mostly critical of the British government.