Major new study to estimate Brexit impact on UK expatriates in Europe

Published:  21 Apr at 6 PM
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A major new study undertaken at the University of London’s Goldsmiths College is to examine the damage Brexit is expected to cause to UK expats living in EU member states.

The research project will form part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s ongoing project entitled The UK in a Changing Europe, and will he headed up by Goldsmiths’ Reader in Sociology Dr Michaela Benson. Also on the team will be author of The British on the Costa del Sol Prof. Karen O’Reilly and a group of researchers from the Institute for Migration Policy.

The study will incorporate research with British nationals living in seven EU member states and will also include a panel of experts from across Europe. The fieldwork focus will be in Spain and France, and will examine the likelihood of a mass migration back to the UK and the effect this would have on UK healthcare and welfare services.

In addition, the study will explore possible restrictions on movement, access to services, political rights and social entitlement for those who decide to stay in their chosen country post-Brexit. The project will also attempt to understand how the implications of Brexit will be communicated to, understood and influenced by UK expats in their communities, and will also attempt to project how Brexit will change British views about their own identities and citizenship.

According to Dr Benson, the study will give a clearer understanding of how expats live and feel, and possibly help achieve an informed debate about the best way to manage Brexit’s effect on lives as well as on UK services and institutions. The project is expected to run for eighteen months, possibly bringing its conclusions too close to the 2019 final exit date to make any difference.

Source: Goldsmiths
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