Progress: but progress to what?

Professor Ian Wooton, Department of Economics & Fraser of Allander Institute, University of Strathclyde

Today we have had the first demonstrable progress in the Brexit negotiations with the deal on Stage 1 of the process for the UK leaving the EU.

The deal covers key issues such as the financial terms of the UK’s exit, the status of EU citizens in the UK (and UK citizens living in the EU), and the border-issue between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

What can we unpick from today’s deal in terms of what the future trading relationship might look like between the UK and the EU?

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Reduction in net migration: a blessing or a curse?

Katerina Lisenkova

Fraser of Allander Institute


During the 2010 election campaign, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron set the Conservative Party’s migration policy target: to reduce the level of net migration from ‘hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands’.

Since then, net migration increased to an all-time high of 332,000 in 2015. Net migration from EU countries constituted just over 55% of the total (Figure 1).

Uncertainty associated with Brexit appears to have brought an end to this rise – in 2016 net migration registered its sharpest one year decline (25%) in recent history and settled, for now, at 248,000.

It is still well above the ‘tens of thousands’ target; but should we celebrate or worry about this recent change in the trend of net migration? My research shows that a significant reduction in EU immigration would lead, in the long run, to lower GDP per person; which in turn would necessitate higher taxes.

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Seven bullet points on the latest Fraser Commentary

Today we published our latest Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary.

This short blog summarises our key conclusions in seven bullet points.

  1. Growth in Scotland’s economy is forecast to continue through 2017, 2018 and into 2019. The outlook remains challenging by historical standards.

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