Migration from the ‘New’ Europe to the UK: assessing its regional and local impacts
Anthony G. Champion, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Cheryl Conway, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Mike Coombes, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Stuart Dawley, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Ranald Richardson, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Alison Stenning, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Since the accession of eight Eastern and Central European countries (‘the A8 states’) to the EU in May 2004, 232,000 workers from there have registered for jobs in the UK through the Workers Registration Scheme (WRS); it is likely that thousands more are working illegally and/or on their own account. This is a significant and relatively new flow of labour migration, though it has clear historical precedents. This paper maps the geography of these new migrants, so as to see how widely they are dispersed across the UK as opposed to being concentrated in the London region. Then, drawing on two case studies selected outside London and the south east, it examines the experience of these migrant workers, explores the role of different institutions in mediating these experiences, and considers the A8 labour migration in the context of debates over labour markets and skills, ‘ethnic entrepreneurialism’ and ‘globalisation from below’.