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Migration Observatory commentary asks ‘What would UK immigration policy look like after Brexit?’

In the debate over the UK’s membership of the European Union, the question of how EU exit could affect migration levels has been a major point of contention. One of the main reasons for this is that it is simply not possible to know exactly how a vote to leave the EU would affect migration to the UK. Migration is inherently difficult to forecast, and – crucially – there is enormous uncertainty about what policies would apply to EU citizens seeking to move to the UK after an EU exit.


Indeed, it is clear that a vote to leave the EU would raise fundamental questions about the design of immigration policies in the UK. Options for how the immigration system would be managed after Brexit range from keeping free movement in place to applying existing non-EU immigration rules to EU citizens, as well as the idea of an ‘Australian-style points-based system’ proposed by Vote Leave.


This Migration Observatory publication examines some key questions about immigration policy that the UK government would need to address in the event of a ‘Leave’ vote on 23 June.


It looks at various questions related to the design of the work visa system in the event of Brexit, e.g. the possibility of ‘Australian-style’ points system, low-skilled worker programmes, net migration target, etc.  Read the report.