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27 August 2017

The Guardian: A million skilled EU workers see their future outside Britain

Almost a million EU citizens working in Britain – many of them young, highly qualified and much sought-after by businesses – are either planning to leave the country or have already made up their minds to go as a result of Brexit, a study has found.

A survey of 2,000 EU workers in Britain by KPMG, the professional services firm, found that 55% of those with PhDs and 49% of those with postgraduate degrees were either planning to go or were actively considering it.

Based on its overall findings, KPMG estimated that a group equivalent to 3.1% of the national workforce – about a million people – now see their future in Britain as over or hanging in the balance. The main reasons given were that they felt “less welcome and valued” post-Brexit, that the UK “is no longer the place that attracted them” and that they are “pro-European and disagree with Brexit”.

KMPG’s study, to be published this week, also surveyed 1,000 people in the 10 EU countries judged as most likely to supply labour to the UK. Although it found that Britain remained in the top five most desirable EU countries (behind Germany and Sweden but ahead of Denmark and the Netherlands) in which to work, 49% of those questioned said they felt it was now less desirable than before the referendum in June last year.

The findings will reinforce fears of a substantial brain drain and suggests that the loss of talent will hit important sectors such as IT particularly hard. KPMG describes those most likely to leave as “the independent, in-demand, educated and young”.

The report comes amid mounting evidence of a fall-off in the number of EU students applying to British universities. Last week there was also a furious argument within government over whether overseas students should continue to be included in immigration statistics after official figures showed the vast majority returned home after graduating. This contradicted Theresa May’s long-standing assertion that huge numbers stay on even after their visas have expired. [...]

Full article on The Guardian

© The Guardian

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