Press Release - Wednesday 11th May 2016
Brexit and the Impact of Immigration on the UK
A reduction in immigration from the European Union (EU) following a vote for Brexit would not lead to any improvement in living standards for those born in the UK. Cuts in EU immigration would not offset the big fall in UK living standards caused by the reduction in trade and investment that would result from Brexit.
These are among the conclusions of new research by the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics. The fifth in a series of #CEPBrexit reports - co-authored by Professor Jonathan Wadsworth, a former member of the Home Office's Migration Advisory Committee - analyses the impact of EU immigration on the UK, an issue that lies at the heart of the referendum campaign.
The researchers highlight the empirical evidence showing conclusively that EU immigration has not had significantly adverse effects on average employment, wages, inequality or public services at the local level for people born in the UK. Falls in average real wages of UK-born workers are more closely associated with the biggest economic crash for more than 80 years.
Ending free movement of labour would damage the national economy. First, it would curtail the country's full access to the Single Market. Second, it would lower GDP per person since EU immigrants have higher employment rates than the UK-born and therefore help to reduce the budget deficit. And third, there is evidence that lower immigration harms national productivity.
The new CEP report shows that:
John Van Reenen highlighted: "The immigration impact hinges on the post-Brexit trade deal - if we go for a deal like Norway or Switzerland, immigrant numbers won't change much, as free movement of labour is part of the package. But if we go for a looser trading arrangement we lose out much more from falls in trade and foreign investment"
Swati Dhingra said "Although some people value a diverse society with other Europeans, many other people do not. For this latter group, cutting back EU migration may bring cultural benefits, but Brexit would bring a financial cost."
For further information, contact:Authors:
Jonathan Wadsworth, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Swati Dhingra, Email: email@example.com
Gianmarco Ottaviano, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Van Reenen, Email: email@example.com
Helen Durrant on +44 (0)20 7955 7395; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Romesh Vaitilingam on +44(0)7768 661095, Email: email@example.com
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