“It is still an open wound”: new report reveals the lasting impact of Brexit on EU citizens in the UK

To mark the sixth anniversary of the 2016 EU referendum we are launching today EU citizens in the UK after Brexit, a new MIGZEN Research Brief based on the responses to the MIGZEN survey of 364 EU/EEA citzens who live or have recently lived in the UK.

The survey reveals that Brexit has significantly and, for most, negatively affected how EU citizens feel about Britain, prompting many to question who they are and reconsider their future in the UK. It also prompted a loss of trust towards British institutions and politicians.

It shows that, while the public narrative suggests that Brexit is done and dusted, for EU citizens Brexit is still an open scar. Strong feelings of insecurity, unsettlement and sadness coexist with feelings of home and opportunity, with the former prevailing in England, while more positive feelings are expressed by those living in Scotland and Wales.

Brexit has had a profound and lasting impact on the lives and sense of identity and belonging of EU citizens living in the UK.  Rebuilding trust is challenging when the ramifications of Brexit still have such profound consequences of the lives of EU citizens in Britain. A 64-year-old French-born naturalised British female respondent captures a widespread feeling among participants:

I will for ever remember that Thursday in 2016 when I woke up and saw the result. I cried. I had to go to work. I felt betrayed, unheard, uncared for, left to wonder about my life in the UK and what had been the point.

Download the report here

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