Brexit uncertainty boosts migration

A new study conducted by Daniel Tetlow, Oxford in Berlin and Daniel Auer, research fellow at the WZB’s unit Migration, Integration, Transnationalization has found that the number of British people  leaving for continental EU countries is at a ten-year high.

OECD figures and national government statistics have shown that the number has risen continuously since 2010 with an exaggerated spike since the Brexit referendum in 2016. The Oxford in Berlin/WZB British migration study interviewed UK citizens that have left the UK for Germany over the last 10 years, examining the reasons for their migration. The study data reveals the great sacrifices and risks many British citizens are taking in order to find some form of certainty in their lives after the Brexit vote. The results clearly show that for those Brits leaving the UK after 2016, Brexit was the main motivation.

Daniel Auer says: "The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has certainly caused large numbers of people to pack their bags in both directions. Unfortunately migration numbers, especially for people leaving the UK, have a high error rate because they rely on approximations from passenger surveys. For that reason, in our study we use OECD data based on national immigration statistics, available until the end of 2017, so one of the challenges for our study is to better understand the effect of Brexit since then.”

The study was adopted by many British media including Independent and Guardian.