Skip to main content
Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Off EU Go? Brexit, the UK Labour Market and Immigration


Immigration remains a highly antagonistic issue and its purported effects in the labour market are still contestable. Against this background, the UK looks set to undertake a large overhaul of its immigration policy following the decision to leave the EU. To try to inform the debate, this study summarises the key patterns and changes in the UK labour market regarding immigration in the run-up to and the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote. The paper then offers some ideas that could explain why immigration appears to have had little effect, either positive or negative, on the wage and employment outcomes of UK-born residents. It next outlines the current state of the labour market and the role of EU immigrants in it as the UK edges toward Brexit. The paper then considers where change may be seen most strongly following Brexit and discusses the many possible immigration policy options open to the government after the UK leaves the EU.

You might also be interested in :

Brexit and Uncertainty: Insights from the Decision Maker Panel
The UK's decision to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum created substantial uncertainty for UK businesses. The nature of this uncertainty is different from that of a typical uncertainty shock because of its length, breadth and political complexity. Consequently, a new firm-level survey…
Brexit: New Evidence and Policy Perspectives
The United Kingdom’s prospective exit from the European Union is one of the most significant events in UK political and economic life in a generation. It has the potential to generate profound effects on the UK and Europe for many years to come. Understandably…


Fiscal Studies


Jonathan Wadsworth (United Kingdom)

Article meta

Country / region covered

Year of Publication

Source type