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Policy Brief

The Demographic Impact of the EU Referendum

EU migrants in the UK

Key messages:

  • EU-born migrants are more likely to be young, in employment, skilled with qualifications and in good health than UK citizens. Many of them are in partnerships with UK-born partners and a significant share of these couples have children.

  • Withdrawing entitlements to social support from EU migrants, and thereby individualising their social risks, makes it much harder for work-focused migrants to use their skills and capabilities to the fullest extent – with significantly negative consequences for the UK economy.

  • A Brexit may push certain EU migrants to apply for citizenship who would otherwise not contemplate applying. This, contrary to the expectation that a Brexit would limit the number of EU migrants in Britain, is likely to increase the number of British citizens possessing a broader set of political and social rights.