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The Brexit effect: EU home movers snub UK after referendum

New research has revealed that home movers from the European Union have become significantly less interested in moving to the UK since the Brexit vote nearly three years ago.

Home moving website reallymoving.com analysed more than 100,000 international removals quotes and found a sharp drop in EU movers looking to relocate to Britain since the UK narrowly voted to leave in June 2016.

In March 2019, EU movers were responsible for 23% of all moves to the UK, down nearly half from 42% in June 2016. In the same period, moves within the EU have grown from 18% to 28% and moves from the EU to the rest of the world have risen from 16% to 49%.


There has also been a drastic fall in those outlining the UK as their destination of choice. In March 2019, the UK was favoured by only 22% of all EU home movers, dropping from 66% in June 2016. 

The data also revealed that there has been a fall in the number of moves to the UK from other non-EU European countries, falling from 9% in June 2016 to 2% in March this year.

Although there was a brief spike in interest from EU movers looking to relocate to the UK immediately after the referendum, reallymoving says this could be attributed to expats looking to return home amid uncertainty surrounding the consequences of the Brexit vote.

The trend for EU movers looking to move to the UK has plummeted since September 2016 and continues to fall.

“The Withdrawal Agreement, as it stands, would bring the free movement of people to an end, making it more difficult and expensive for EU workers to come to the UK,” Rob Houghton, chief executive of reallymoving, said.

“This has clearly had a significant impact on the decisions people have made about where to settle over the last almost three years, dramatically reducing the flow of people from the continent into the UK.” 

He added that uncertainty over the British jobs market and the rights of EU workers in the UK, as well as British citizens in Europe, is ‘encouraging EU residents to look for opportunities elsewhere, in countries where they can settle without the risk of upheaval in the near future’.

The below graphs offer further information on reallymoving’s findings.

Graph 1: Where are EU movers going? Proportion of moves from EU countries to UK/EU/Rest of World (reallymoving)

Graph 2:  Where are movers to the UK coming from? Proportion of moves to UK from EU/Non-EU European countries/Rest of World (reallymoving)

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    Good it helps to relieve the pressures on all our social services and housing.


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