Since Britain's decision to leave the European Union was announced in June 2016, there has been widespread speculation about what this will mean for EU nationals living in the UK. There has also been considerable discussion about what the impact on the UK's economy will be if EU workers are forced to leave the country and if EU migration levels into the UK drop off post-Brexit.

Last month the Government published a statement confirming its commitment to safeguarding the position of EU citizens living in the UK. This will have provided reassurance to many EU nationals living in the UK, and also to businesses that have large numbers of EU nationals in their workforce. However, the statement also revealed that all EU nationals will be required to confirm their right of residence in accordance with UK law after Brexit, and that a whole new process is being created for them to do this (click here for more details).

The latest news on this topic, announced today, is that the Government is commissioning a study on current migration trends in order to understand what the impact on the UK's economy will be if there is a significant drop in EU migration into the UK after Brexit.

Both prior to and since the EU referendum, the Government has come under pressure to demonstrate its ability to control immigrations levels, and has had a long-standing aim to bring net migration into Britain below 100,000.

The study will look into which regions and industries in the UK are most reliant on EU migration, as well as what the economic benefits and social costs of EU migration are on the UK's economy at present. It will also look at the impact of EU immigration on competition within UK industry, and whether the availability of EU migrants has resulted in low levels of investment in certain sectors.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has stated that the study will assist the Government in creating a post-Brexit immigration system "that works in the best interests of the country."

The results of the study will be announced in September 2018, just six months prior to Brexit.