Brexit anniversary: Three Brexit disaster stories out this week

As we approach the three-year anniversary of leaving the EU, Brexit damage continues to mount.

January 31 will mark the three-year anniversary of the UK’s departure from the European Union. We were promised a ‘new golden age’ by Brexiteers. What we have seen in the years following our EU exit is a collapsing NHS, unmanaged migration rising, and the only member of the G7 with an economy that is still smaller than it was before the pandemic.

Here are three stories out this week that show the mounting damage of Brexit.

Number of EU students enrolling at UK universities more than halves since Brexit

New data shows that the number of students from EU countries enrolling on courses at universities in Britain has more than halved post-Brexit. The sharpest declines have been from Germany, Italy, and France. In 2021, the number of EU students enrolling for an undergraduate or postgraduate course was 31,000, down from 66,680 the year before Brexit came into force.

Brexit is viewed as the a key reason for he fall in numbers, with student finance and home fees no longer available to EU students who do not already live in the UK with settled or pre-settled status. Following Brexit, home fees have shot up to as much as £38,000, where pre-Brexit they were just over £9,000.

“The significant decrease shown in EU first-year student enrolments can be attributed to changes in fees eligibility,” said the Higher Education Statistics Agency, which published the data.

Support for Brexit at an all-time low

A report out this week by UK In a Changing Europe (UKICE) think-tank shows that support for Brexit is at an all-time low. The ‘Where Next? The future of the UK-EU relationship’ report, highlights a huge shift of public opinion on Brexit.

Its polling shows that, as of December, 56 percent of those surveyed would now vote to re-join the EU. This compares with 45 percent in the preceding February. Support for Brexit is now at its lowest since 2016, with only 32 percent of voters agreeing that leaving the EU was the right thing to do.

The report, which was published on January 25, said that despite Britain taking a significant economic hit from leaving the European Union and falling public support for Brexit, major changes in the UK-EU relationship were unlikely. 

“Prospects of such a renegotiation are slim,” said UKICE Director Anand Menon

84 percent of UK architect studios want to reverse Brexit ‘catastrophe’

Also out this week was the news that nine in ten architecture studios in Britain feel that Brexit has had a detrimental impact on them.

Research carried out by Dezeen found that 84 percent of UK architecture studios want to reverse the “catastrophe” of Brexit. The survey asked 50 architecture studios across the UK their experiences of working post-Brexit.

Pointing to difficulties attracting talent from Europe, higher construction costs, and additional administrative burdens, the responses were overwhelmingly negative.

Commenting on the survey’s results, Eddie Miles, CEO of large international firm Hyphen, said:

“It comes as little surprise that the UK’s architects find little if nothing to commend Brexit and its aftermath.

“It may take a generational shift, but we are pretty sure that closer cultural, political and commercial relationships with our European neighbours are inevitable, including hopefully applying for re-admission to the EU,” he added.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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