Emigration from the Visegrad Group countries to Great Britain after joining the European Union was one of the largest migration waves in the new history of Europe. According to data provided by the British Bureau of Statistics on November 29, 2018, there were 985,000 Poles in the United Kingdom, 83 thousand Slovaks and the same number of Hungarians, as well as 47 thousand Czechs.
This emigration caused a number of positive and negative issues, such as the demographic gap, departure of young and educated people from Central and Eastern European countries, getting rich quickly and investing in the countries of origin, etc.
Great Britain has often been the first choice of immigrants, not only because of the widely learned language, but above all because of its economic advantages: strong currency, relatively high income rate, low taxes. It also decided to open its labor market as early as 2004 - before other EU countries did.
This situation collapsed after the Brexit referendum. Brexit introduced uncertainty over the legal status and economic future. In times of crisis, people usually make changes to their life strategies. Some might consider returning home, others will look for another country to emigrate, or on the contrary - will decide to apply for British citizenship. Further uncertainty and dilemmas were caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that coincided with the Brexit fall.
The project entitled "The impact of Brexit
on immigration from the V4 countries: a report on migration strategies against
the political and economic crisis" (2019-2023) is financed by the
International Visegrad Fund and implemented by a consortium of the region's
leading research centers:
University of Warsaw,
Its main goal is to conduct joint
qualitative research including biographical interviews with migrants from all
countries of the Visegrád Group. The research will end with the publication of
a report on the impact of Brexit on the life strategies of migrants and 5
articles in regional and international scientific journals. The report
will be published in 2023.
Charles University in Prague,
Hungarian Geographical Institute,
Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Science
and Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica.