A post-Brexit fall in migration would hit growth across the UK and result in higher taxes for UK citizens, according to a new think tank report.
If net migration from the European Union were to drop – as it might should the UK vote to leave the European Union – the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) has calculated that the UK economy would be nine per cent smaller than it otherwise would have been by 2065.
On a GDP per capita basis, the difference would be considerably smaller at 0.8 per cent. However, the demographic effect of lower immigration would cause government spending to rise, adding £402 to the tax bill of every UK citizen, Niesr said. This would result in post-tax wages being two per cent lower.
Coming over here …
|UK native||EU15||New EU||non-EU|
|Employment rate||77 per cent||79 per cent||82 per cent||68 per cent|
|High qualification||25 per cent||51 per cent||38 per cent||49 per cent|
|Medium qualification||29 per cent||29 per cent||51 per cent||30 per cent|
|Low qualification||46 per cent||19 per cent||11 per cent||21 per cent|
The calculations are based on the assumption that net migration runs at 185,000 per year if the UK votes to remain, and half that level – 92,000 – if the UK leaves the European Union. The analysis on GDP and taxes is based only on immigration, so is better seen as research into the effect of immigration on the UK economy, rather than a new Brexit study.
|High qualification||Medium qualification||Low qualification||Total|
Net migration is currently running at 323,000, though the Conservative government maintains its aim is to bring this down to the “tens of thousands”.
Various independent assessments – including the public finance figures compiled by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), show that if migration were to fall then economic growth would slow and the chancellor would find it increasingly difficult to balance the books.