Belying the ‘Brexit Brain Drain’

Briefings For Britain

Has Brexit really led to the flight of our best and brightest?

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Another article in the Guardian, this time based on a report claiming that emigration to Germany from the UK has risen significantly in the years since Brexit. The report it’s based on hasn’t been published yet, but you can see a preview here. Several flaws are immediately apparent. Firstly, it only uses statistics up to 2017 – a year after the Brexit vote. Secondly, the gradually increasing migration trends it cites predate Brexit by several years. But thirdly and most bafflingly the report only considers emigration, without comparing immigration from Germany to the UK. If you want to argue for a brain drain, you need to show not merely that people are leaving (and what sort of people are leaving) – you also need to prove that people aren’t coming from the EU to this country. And with large numbers having applied for (and been granted) indefinite Leave to Remain, the suggestion that skilled Britons are leaving a ‘sinking ship’ is simply propaganda.

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A Cambridge PhD Student'