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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Sime, D., Käkelä, E., Corson, S., Tyrrell, N., McMellon, C., Kelly, C. & Moskal, M. (2017). Eastern European Young People in Brexit Britain: Racism, Anxiety and a Precarious Future. Research and Policy Briefing Number 1. Durham, Plymouth and Strathclyde Universities.

Author(s) from Durham


Young Eastern Europeans living in the UK are likely to be considerably impacted by the UK’s decision to exit from the European Union, with some effects already manifest. Young people who took our survey came from all over Europe and identified as Eastern European (see Box 1).
When we asked them how they felt about the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the majority said that they felt ‘uncertain’, ‘worried’ or ‘scared’ over their future (see Figure 1). Others reported feeling ‘sad’ and ‘angry’ (we allowed young people to give more than one response here).
Young people said they were worried about their insecure position in Britain, the uncertainty over their future, whether they will be allowed to stay, and the risk that some of their family members might want to return to their country of birth. As many of the young people had lived most of their lives in the UK, many were concerned they would have to abandon their homes, friends and family in the UK post-Brexit and move elsewhere.

School of Education