Posted on February 20, 2020

Brexit Might Actually Make the UK More Racially Diverse

Adam Rasmi, Quartz, February 15, 2020

Boris Johnson’s new cabinet met on Friday (Feb. 14), following the first reshuffle since the prime minister’s decisive election win on Dec. 12. One thing it agreed upon is overhauling the UK’s immigration system: Starting next year, it will reportedly enact an Australian-style points-based system that is blind to country of origin.


The number of Europeans arriving in the UK has fallen sharply since the June 2016 vote, in part over the uncertainty Brexit has created for EU citizens. Now that the UK has departed the bloc, it will be harder for Europeans to come to Britain once the transition period that runs until Dec. 31 ends. {snip}

In comparison, the number of immigrants from the rest of the world has continued to climb—which means the new immigration regulations may relatively increase racial diversity in Britain.

That’s perhaps surprising, given that the issue of non-white or Muslim immigrants was a major talking point during the referendum. Boris Johnson used the prospect of large numbers of Turkish citizens arriving as a scare tactic, suggesting that Turkey’s accession to the EU—which at that point had already stalled—would mean the country’s roughly 80 million people would be able to settle in the UK. {snip}