Press

Can robots really plug the workforce shortage left by Brexit?

22 January 2023
The Observer
Migration was quite a big deal, Brexit-wise, but six years on, and two after the end of free movement, what has been the impact? The level of net migration certainly hasn’t fallen, but a new report from Jonathan Portes and John Springford argues that if you focus on workers, the end of freedom of movement has left about 330,000 fewer in Britain (460,000 fewer Europeans, but 130,000 more from elsewhere). That’s a reduction of roughly 1% of the labour force, prompting many to say that a lack of migration drove recent economy-wide labour shortages.

How the Franco-German axis still needs care and attention 60 years on

22 January 2023
The Sunday Times
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, says [Franco-German relations] have not been so bad since 1998, when Gerhard Schröder, newly elected as German chancellor, ruffled French feathers by paying his first visit not to Paris to meet Jacques Chirac but to London, to see Tony Blair.

To go or not to go? Von der Leyen’s Covid committee dilemma

Camino Mortera-Martinez
20 January 2023
Politico
“I think this [Qatargate] will make it less likely for von der Leyen to co-operate with the Parliament,” said Camino Mortera-Martinez, head of the Brussels office at the think-tank the Centre for European Reform. She said the Commission president is riding high after weathering a pandemic, and now the war in Ukraine.

Fraught departure from EU shrinks workforce

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
19 January 2023
China Daily
For many years, freedom of movement gave the British economy a supply of cheap EU labor. But with the Brexit agreement having ended that, the labor market is now feeling the pinch, with around 330,000 fewer workers available.A study by the independent think tank Centre for European Reform highlighted the fluctuating numbers and changing face of the British labor market, which has been transformed and depleted.By June, there had been a rise of 130,000 non-EU workers compared to a situation where post-Brexit immigration controls were unaltered, but this was offset by 460,000 fewer EU workers.

The post-Brexit labour shortfall

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
19 January 2023
Financial Times
This week Jonathan Portes and John Springford published a joint paper for the UK in a Changing Europe and the Centre for European Reform that assessed the shortfall in the UK labour market caused by Brexit. The number they came up with was 330,000 — about 1 per cent of the total UK workforce — but the shortfalls for workers from the EU landed more heavily on the lower-wage sectors that relied previously on flexible EU labour, like logistics (128,000 or 8 per cent of the sectoral workforce); hotels and restaurants (67,000 or 4 per cent), shops (103,000 or 3 per cent), building sites (46,000 or 2 per cent).

Brexit has only cost us and the worst is yet to come

18 January 2023
The New European
John Springford’s latest work for the Centre for European Reform puts the figure at 5.5%. He uses a “doppelganger” economic model that compares the UK’s economic performance to a group of countries that have performed similarly in the past. The paths of the UK and its “twin” separate in 2016 and the gap between the two is now 5.5%. In short, if we had stayed in the EU we would be much better off than we are now.

Brexit is doomed, says Boris Johnson’s favourite newspaper

18 January 2023
The Independent (Ireland)
The ending of free movement is “contributing significantly” to labour shortages in the UK, the study by the UK in a Changing Europe and the Centre for European Reform found.The academics found that low-skilled sectors – including hospitality, retail, construction and transportation – had been badly hit by the loss of EU workers after Brexit.“Overall, the new system is working broadly as Leave advocates promised,” said co-authors Prof Jonathan Portes and John Springford, who said visa rules were “too onerous to compensate for the loss of free movement in low-skilled sectors of the economy”.

How many workers has the UK lost due to Brexit? Researchers have a bleak answer

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
18 January 2023
The Huffington Post
Brexit is behind a labour shortfall in the UK according to new research, leaving the country with 330,000 fewer people in the workforce. A joint report from think-tanks the Centre for European Reform and UK in a Changing Europe looked into this stat to find out how many people chose not to work in the UK because of Brexit.

Shortage of 330,000 workers in the country due to Brexit: is it bad for the economy?

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
18 January 2023
Talk Finance
The immigration restrictions in the United Kingdom, which were introduced after leaving the European Union, have led to a shortage of 330,000 workers in the country. Sectors with low-skilled labour, such as retail, hospitality, transport and storage, are particularly hard hit by the end of free movement of persons between the UK and the EU, reports the London-based think-tank Centre for European Reform (CER).

Kaili out, Angel in: Is the EU Parliament starting afresh?

Camino Mortera-Martinez
18 January 2023
Deutsche Welle
Analyst Camino Mortera of the Centre for European Reform, is worried that the European Parliament is underestimating the extent of reform needed. "I don't think that the parliament itself has realized that by not reforming, by not taking this chance to do something significant against these kind of behaviors, they are opening themselves up to more criticism," Mortera told DW.

TRT World: Why is Germany reluctant to throw its support behind Ukraine?

17 January 2023
Pressure is mounting on Germany to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform, talks about why Berlin is hesitating to throw its support behind Kiev.

UK worker shortfall due to Brexit curbs estimated at 330,000

17 January 2023
Financial Times
The post-Brexit UK economy is facing a shortfall of more than 300,000 workers as the result of ending free movement of labour with the EU, according to a new estimate by leading researchers. The joint assessment from the UK in a Changing Europe and the Centre for European Reform think-tanks said that the ending of free movement was constricting the UK economy and “contributing significantly” to labour shortages in lower-skilled sectors, including logistics, construction and hospitality.

Shortfall of 330,000 workers in UK due to Brexit, say think-tanks

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
17 January 2023
The Guardian
Brexit has led to a shortfall of 330,000 people in the UK labour force, mostly in the low-skilled economy, a report by leading researchers has found.The departure from the EU in 2020 led to an increase in immigration from non-EU countries, but not enough to compensate for the loss of workers from neighbouring countries, according to the joint findings of the thinktanks Centre for European Reform (CER) and UK in a Changing Europe.

Brexit cost 330,000 drop in UK labour force, new research finds

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
17 January 2023
EurActiv
Brexit has resulted in the loss of 330,000 workers from the UK economy, according to new research published on Tuesday (17 January). The data published by the UK in a Changing Europe and Centre for European Reform thinktanks revealed that in September 2022, there were 460,000 fewer workers of EU-origin in the UK than if the UK had remained in the bloc, only partially offset by an increase of about 130,000 non-EU workers. The net loss of workers amounts to around 1% of the labour force. 

Brexit has created shortage of 330,000 workers in UK, say economists

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
17 January 2023
The Independent
Post-Brexit immigration rules have led to a shortfall of around 330,000 workers in the UK, according to top economists.The ending of free movement is “contributing significantly” to current labour shortages, a joint report by the UK in a Changing Europe and the Centre for European Reform think-tanks has found. The study found the low-skilled sectors – including hospitality, retail, construction and transportation – had been badly hit by the loss of EU workers after Brexit.

Brexit rules cost Britain 330,000 workers, economists say

John Springford, Jonathan Portes
17 January 2023
Bloomberg
Brexit immigration curbs have led to a shortfall of 330,000 workers in the UK, contributing to a tighter labor market and fueling inflation, a report showed. Low-skilled sectors including retail and hospitality have been hit hardest by the end of freedom of movement following the UK’s departure from the European Union, an analysis by the Centre for European Reform found.

The fog in the English Channel is clearing a bit

16 January 2023
Reuters
Agreements on science and finance would not be that controversial within the ruling Conservative Party. But a deal on Northern Ireland could be. So if Sunak uses up some political capital on pushing that through, he may lack the appetite for doing anything else that would antagonise pro-Brexit parliamentarians, says Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform.

Europe's warm winter is robbing Putin of a trump card

16 January 2023
CNN
“Governments could do more to incentivize and speed up the development of renewable sources of energy,” says John Springford, deputy director at the Centre for European Reform. “A big step would be giving the green light to onshore wind. It would also be wise for governments to build storage capacity for liquid natural gas (LNG), which can happen fairly quickly and directly reduces the need for Russian gas.”

London’s Brexit 2023: Sadiq Khan, Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer on the elephant in the room

16 January 2023
London World
He [Sadiq Khan] also referred to a Centre for European Reform estimate that the cost to the Treasury in lost tax revenues due to Brexit is £40bn. “So, repairing our relationship with Europe would mean we can better support the NHS,” he said.

A united Europe weathers crises, but deeper challenges remain

14 January 2023
The New York Times
“It’s astonishing that the Europeans have kept together so far,” said Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform. “But the worry is that given stagflation, high energy prices, migration and deficits, populists might exploit divisions and push Ukraine to make an early peace. As the war goes on, divisions in these two camps will get worse.”