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Post-Brexit migration

The UK’s departure from the EU in January 2021 has given the present government the opportunity to implement their 2019 manifesto promise to introduce an “Australian-style points-based-system” to manage immigration. While the details of this system are still not fully clear, the intention is to prioritise higher-skilled migration, reduce lower-skilled immigration and give the UK government greater control over migratory flows. 

While demand for workers in lower-paid sectors, such as hospitality, retail and leisure, has been muted by the Covid-19 pandemic, we would anticipate this increasing as the economy reopens fully. One possibility is that, rather than being excluded from working in the UK entirely, lower-paid workers will be permitted to enter the labour market via temporary migration routes, which limit their time in the UK and are often tied to a specific sector. 

Temporary migration routes, integration, and social cohesion

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In this literature review, we explore the evidence around the impact of temporary forms of migration on social relations within communities, including how well migrants are able to integrate, and what the consequences may be for social cohesion. Our interest is in understanding whether the literature suggests that more transitory forms of migration are worse for communities, and for migrants themselves, than more permanent forms. 

Implications of the post-Brexit immigration system for temporary migration routes

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In this policy briefing, we review the relevant policy literature, including government analysis, industry bodies’ views, and the work of thinktanks and NGOs. We consider the changes to the immigration system that are being implemented and the potential implications of these changes in the absence of freedom of movement between the EU and the UK.