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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Last week’s UK GDP Figures – what do they tell us about Brexit so far?

Last week, we obtained the first major official economic data on the performance of the UK economy since June’s EU referendum.

The figures surprised most economists. The consensus forecast was for growth of around 0.3%, or less than half that in the 2nd quarter of 2016 (+0.7%), but the figure came in at 0.5%.

With so much speculation about the impact of Brexit in recent months, what do the figures tell us about the health of the UK economy, its likely direction in the months ahead, and the implications for Scotland? Continue reading “Last week’s UK GDP Figures – what do they tell us about Brexit so far?”

Modelling the long-term impact of Brexit on the Scottish economy

The Fraser of Allander Institute was commissioned by the Scottish Parliament’s Europe Committee to provide a modelling assessment of the potential long-term impacts on the Scottish economy of Brexit.

Our modelling results are summarised here with the full report available at the following link.

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