People from the EU are a benefit not a burden to the South East

   22 August 2019

Antony Hook MEP (Liberal Democrat) has today released an in-depth report assessing how migration works for the UK and the impact that Brexit will have.  

The government in pursuing its Brexit agenda, is seemingly looking to punish EU people for choosing to live, work and study in the UK. In doing so, they portray people from the EU as a burden to the UK and provide no benefits.

If EU people stop coming to the UK, this will have a profound impact on the South East. The report found that EU people in the UK contribute significantly to the UK economy, our NHS and other vital public services.

Mr Hook said,

“Migration is really important for the UK in a number of different ways. Brexit will make it harder for EU people to come to the UK to live, work and study. This is not good news for our local economy.

“EU people in our area contribute significantly more in taxes than they have taken in the form of benefits or public service use. EU people bring valuable skills to the UK job market and have proved to increase the productivity of UK business.

“Our NHS heavily relies on a migrant work force. Without them, NHS services will be heavily affected, and it will endanger the care that patients currently receive. Alarmingly, nearly half of EU doctors working for the NHS have said they are considering leaving the UK.

“The government is outrageously using people as political pawns. Ending freedom of movement is not the answer to the UK’s economic and social issues. The Home Secretary’s ill-covered plan to raise the minimum salary for migrant workers to £36,700 after Brexit will cause an employment crisis.

“The South East of England is proudly home to over 1 million people from outside the UK, with a large proportion coming from the EU. Migration is a significant factor in the South East becoming the second largest regional economy in the UK.

“British people living in the EU also face an uncertain future. Currently 1.24 million Britons live in the EU and Brexit threatens their right to live and work.

“Together we must stop Brexit and keep the door open for EU people to live, work or study in the UK and to allow Britons to continue to live in the EU”.

The report is available to download from


Download the press release (.pdf)