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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Uncharted waters: The social and equality impacts of Brexit

Abstract

This research provides an overview of the potential social impacts of Brexit on individuals and communities in Scotland. It complements economic analyses of Brexit, which tend to focus on impacts on businesses, the economy and GDP. The paper begins by discussing the impacts of the Brexit referendum on people in Scotland since June 2016 to the present day, which include slower economic growth and immigration uncertainty. The research then explores the potential impacts of Brexit going forward under three scenarios: a hard Brexit, a softer Brexit and a no-trade deal Brexit. People's legal rights, access to funding and public services, and employment, housing and consumer spending prospects are then analysed from the perspective of different equalities groups. An in-depth analysis of potential impacts is also provided through a case study on women. The key findings are that the potential socioeconomic effects of any type of Brexit will likely to be widespread across equalities groups; and equalities groups are also likely to feel the shared loss of EU funding, European citizenship and other EU social rights and protections that are not transposed into domestic law or which will likely come to an end (i.e. European Health Insurance Card). However, the likelihood of these impacts happening depends on several variables, as yet unknown, including the closeness of the future UK-EU relationship, trade agreements with other countries, and the UK Government's post-Brexit policy agenda.

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Journal

Scottish Affairs

Author

Eve Hepburn (United Kingdom)

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