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CEEYouth: The comparative study of young migrants from Poland and Lithuania in the context of Brexit

This was an interdisciplinary study examining changes in daily lives and future plans of young Lithuanian and Polish migrants in the United Kingdom after the Brexit referendum vote. The project brought together two interdisciplinary research fields: migration studies and youth studies.

Together with SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Poland, we investigated how Brexit affected young migrants in the UK regarding their transition to adulthood, identity formation, use of social services, migration decisions, and labour market integration. The longitudinal research design was especially handy given the unpredictability and delays of Brexit, allowing us to track the reactions, changes in behaviour and plans of more than 70 migrants we kept in touch with over the course of two years.

The study used a mixed methods approach, namely:

  • Secondary analysis of existing surveys, primarily the Labour Force Survey, that allowed us to compose a demographic profile of emigrants;
  • Semi-structured and asynchronous interviews that helped us identify short- and medium-term Brexit effects given that we tracked the same interviewees over a two-year period;
  • Online survey of returnees designed to deepen our knowledge on Brexit effects for those who returned from the UK to Poland or Lithuania after the Brexit referendum in 2016.