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4 Aug, 2020 10:46

UK facing ‘potential brain drain’ as emigration to EU countries soars 30% since Brexit vote, new study shows

UK facing ‘potential brain drain’ as emigration to EU countries soars 30% since Brexit vote, new study shows

A new study has revealed that Brexit has been the “dominant driver” in the exodus of Britons to EU countries. Emigration is up 30 percent since the 2016 Brexit vote, with the authors warning the UK faces a “potential brain drain.”

Analysis by a joint research team consisting of an Oxford-in-Berlin partnership and the WZB Social Science Centre, also in Berlin, has found that migration from the UK to EU states rose by an average of 73,642 a year between 2016 and 2018. In stark contrast, the average between 2008-2015 was 56,832 people a year, according to the researchers.

Explaining the huge wave of migration, the co-authors of the study – Daniel Tetlow and Daniel Auer – said that the 2016 Brexit referendum had been the “dominant driver.” They likened the migration flow to one caused by a serious economic or political crisis, and warned it would likely have serious consequences for academia in the UK.

The study reveals the UK is facing a potential brain drain of highly-educated British citizens, who have decided to invest their futures in continental Europe.

The study – which analysed OECD and Eurostat data – also revealed that UK citizens obtaining an EU member-state passport increased by 500 percent across the continent and, in the case of Germany, by a staggering 2,000 percent.

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Negotiations between London and Brussels to strike a new trade deal from 2021 have stalled in recent months. A major stumbling block centers on EU state aid rules, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson refusing to be bound by them. 

Johnson’s administration has also refused to sign up to EU environmental standards and labor laws, insisting that the main point of Brexit was to allow the UK to decide its own regulations.

The UK and EU have until December 31 – the end of the transition phase – to reach an agreement. If not, the UK will move on to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and be subject to the import and export tariffs that come with that.

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