• Interim Report on European Economic Area Workers
  • April 19, 2018
  • The situation

    The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) issued an interim report summarising stakeholder concerns about European Economic Area (EEA) workers leaving the United Kingdom after Brexit.

    Background

    The MAC was asked to review the impact of Brexit on the UK labor market in July 2017. The MAC issued a call for evidence the same month, requesting stakeholder feedback on the potential social and economic impact of Brexit. The intent is for MAC to provide an evidence base for the design of a new migration system post Brexit. This is the first interim report that summarizes data collated to date.

    A closer look

    The data collated from employers and other stakeholders included the following:

    • Employer concerns. Employers from various sectors voiced the following concerns about an expected decrease in EEA workers resulting from Brexit:

    o Necessary skills for both high- and low-skilled positions are scarce in the UK workforce;

    o Supply of UK staff is insufficient as unemployment is currently very low; and

    o EEA workers are more reliable and flexible; and

    o EEA workers are more willing to take up unappealing work than UK workers.

    • Regional impact. Scotland is expected to face the biggest impact from the decrease in EEA workers. Ireland expressed strong concerns on the border infrastructure with Northern Ireland.

    Impact

    Although the report does not contain any conclusions, it does give an indication of what the MAC will consider in their final report. Namely, this includes impacts on wages, unemployment, productivity and as a result prices, training, the provision of services, public finances, community cohesion and well being generally in the United Kingdom, as well as the impacts by region.

    Looking ahead

    The MAC report will provide recommendations for the design of a new migration system after the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020.

    The final report containing full recommendations is due by September 2018.