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Migration UK - EU

We aim to help develop informed debate about the UK and EU by concentrating on think-tank and government reports as well as academic research.

We have collected some papers on the subject of UK-EU migration. This selection is by no means exhaustive. If you feel something significant is missing please contact


Social Benefits and Migration: A Contested Relationship and Policy Challenge in the EU by
Elspeth Guild, Sergio Carrera, Katharina Eisele Published September 2013  


Submission to the UK Government’s Balance of Competence Review: Free Movement of Persons by Open Europe Published July2013


Migration - making it work by Business for New Europe Published May 2013


The lifting of transitional controls for Bulgaria and Romania by All Party Parliamentary Group for European Reform Published May 2013


Briefing - Migration Flows of A8 and other EU Migrants by Migration Observatory Published April 2013    


Special Report: Impacts of Bulgarian and Romanian immigration on the UK by Dr Heather Rolfe for British Influence Published April 2013


A 'simple rule' about migrants and benefits - Clues to the UK's woes lurk in its own backyard by Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist Published March 2013  


Skilled Labor Flows: Lessons from the European Union
Report under the World Bank ASEAN Labor Markets program funded by AusAid. Published December 2012


The impact and management of EU free movement and immigration policy
Paper on immigration policy - particularly the aspects that are regulated by the EU. Entails, along with graphs, a broad array of links to EU directives and treaties which are easy to follow. Published March 2012


Skilled immigration and strategically important skills in the UK economy
Broad study of skilled migrants in the employment market. Entails case studies within high-tech and finance industries with the focus on "strategically important skills". Published February 2012


The impacts of migration on social cohesion and integration. By Shamit Saggar, Will Somerville, Rob Ford & Maria Sobolewska
"...on the basis of both insufficiently robust measures and our headline finding that shows new immigration has no significant impact on local neighbourhood cohesion, it would be wise for policymakers to focus on deprivation rather than migration in setting policy on cohesion and integration." Date of publication: January 2012


Migration Flows of A8 and other EU Migrants to and from the UK
Briefing discussing migration flows of EU citizens (excluding British citizens) to and from the UK. A special focus of the briefing is on A8 citizens - citizens of the eight East European Countries that joined the European Union (EU) in May 2004 (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia). Date of publication: January 2012


Examining the relationship between immigration and unemployment using national insurance number registration data
Statistical analysis between immigration and unemployment, using National insurance Number Registration Data. Published January 2012.


Drivers Of International Migration To The UKBy James Mitchell, Nigel Pain and Rebecca Riley for the Royal Economic Society Published December 2011  


Is 'health tourism' costing the taxpayer £200 million?
Scrutiny of the proposed NHS reforms and public expenditure converged today as one Daily Mail columnist claimed that foreign patients were unlawfully claiming free treatment, costing £200 million. Is this so? Published July 2011


Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK
This paper assesses the fiscal consequences of migration to the UK from the Central and Eastern European countries that joined the European Union in May 2004 (A8 countries). Published 2010


The UK's new Europeans - Progress and challenges five years after accession
The recent enlargement of the European Union (EU) has fundamentally changed migration patterns to the UK. Over the past five years, it has brought hundreds of thousands of new EU citizens into the UK's society and labour market. The new migration poses distinctive new challenges for those who work to promote equality in the UK. Published January 2010


Migration and the Global Recession
Report commissioned by the BBC World Service, in which the Migration Policy Institute seeks to explore the myriad impacts of this crisis on migration flows, remittances, and on migrants themselves as they adjust to the sweeping economic changes set in motion by the deepest global financial downturn since the Great Depression. Published September 2009.


The fiscal effects of A8 migration to the UK by Christian Dustmann, Tommaso Frattini, Caroline Halls
Are new immigrants a fiscal burden on incumbent residents? This column looks at Eastern European immigrants in the UK and shows that they are net contributors to public finances because they have a higher labour force participation rate, are likely to pay more in indirect taxes like VAT, and make much lower use of benefits and public services. Published August 2009


New immigrants and migrants in social housing in Britain: discursive themes and lived realities
The perception that new immigrants and migrants are unfairly advantaged in the allocation of social housing is one of the most frequently cited injustices of new immigration in Britain. Tapping into dominant notions of the immigrant as folk devil and a long tradition of scapegoating blameworthy groups for problems accessing social housing, this debate has all the hallmarks of a moral panic, with exaggeration and distortion raising public concern to a level disproportionate to any apparent or rational threat. This point is reinforced by a review of the experiences of new immigrants and migrants within the social housing allocation process. Published April 2009


The Economic Impact of Immigration
Immigration has become highly significant to the UK economy: immigrants comprise 12% of the total workforce—and a much higher proportion in London. However, we have found no evidence for the argument, made by the Government, business and many others, that net immigration immigration minus emigration generates significant economic benefits for the existing UK population. Published by the Authority of the House of Lords, April 2008


The economics of Migration
This paper addresses five key questions which regularly arise in debates about the economic consequences of immigration to the UK. These questions are:
• Has migration led to unemployment?
• Has migration driven down wages?
• Does migration cost the taxpayer?
• Does migration damage developing countries?
• Does migration hurt migrants?
Published June 2007


EU enlargement and migration: Assessing the macroeconomic impacts
This paper considers the macroeconomic effects of the migration that followed the enlargement of the EU in May 2004. At that time the EU was expanded to include 10 New Member States (NMS) predominantly from Central and Eastern Europe. In the wake of accession the number of workers migrating to the EU-15 from the poorest of the NMS increased significantly. In part the result of the liberal immigration policies adopted, and restrictive policies adopted elsewhere, Ireland and the UK have become popular destination countries for NMS workers. Here we illustrate the potential macroeconomic consequences of these migration flows across Europe, highlighting the impacts in both the receiving and sending countries. Published March 2007


East European Nationals Living in Southampton
An overview of the nature and impact of in-migration by East Europeans into Southampton since May 2004. Published February 2007


Estimating International Migration for Population Estimates - An Information Paper
The National Statistics Centre for Demography (NSCD) provides a focus for collaboration between the partners in UK official demographic statistics. The Office for National Statistics (ONS), alongside the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS), the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) and the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), delivers a UK-wide work programme on population statistics under the direction of the UK Population Committee. Published July 2006

Neighbourhood experiences of new immigration
This report pieces together a picture of the daily realities of life for new immigrants and the local consequences of their arrival and settlement. Published 2006


Paying their way - The fiscal contribution of immigrants in the UK
This paper seeks to fill a gap in the public understanding of the actual impact of immigration on public finances, by estimating the scale of, and changes in, the contributions made by immigrants to government revenue and expenditure. As well as addressing public concerns, work to calculate the fiscal impact of immigration is needed to generate the evidence upon which policy makers can devise better migration policies. Understanding the fiscal impact of migration is also part of the wider challenge of understanding the dynamics of migration. Published April 2005


The Economic Impact of Immigration
The impact of immigration can be considered underfour headings:
• Unemployment and Wages
• Government Finances
• Ageing
• Population
Published April 2004


Free movement of persons, asylum and immigration

The free movement of persons is a fundamental right guaranteed to European Union (EU) citizens by the Treaties.  Here is a summary of EU legislation in this area