A new study has revealed the increasing number of Britons making use of their freedom to live and work in other EU countries.
The number has increased markedly and the rate of departure accelerated since the 2016 Brexit referendum, according to the report.
Up to 84,000 people are expected to leave the United Kingdom and move to EU countries this year, according to the analysis, which was conducted by the Oxford in Berlin group and the Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB).
The figure demonstrates a drastic increase when compared with the 59,000 who made the same move in 2008.
Migration researcher and co-author of the study Dr Daniel Auer said: “These dramatic jumps tell us we’re onto a significant social phenomenon here whose implications are yet to be understood.”
The study also looked specifically at relocations from the UK to Germany. A similar trend was observed here, with 11,500 people making that move in 2018, compared to 8,500 in 2008.
Citizenship and nationalization figures also follow the same trend. While 622 Britons received German citizenship in 2015, 7,493 were naturalized in 2017, the report states. For the EU as a whole, naturalizations rose from 2,106 in 2015 to 14,678 in 2017.
Daniel Tetlow, one of the researchers behind the study, said that researchers also conducted interviews with people who had moved from the UK to the EU, in an effort to understand the trend.
Changes to the way people see their British identity are part of the explanation, Tetlow told The Guardian newspaper.
“One of the things I find most striking is this new British-European identity that many refer to,” he said.
“And no, it’s not just the privileged metro middle classes; I’ve met proud British mechanics, ex-British forces, British ambulance drivers, British teachers and unemployed Brits, and because of Brexit almost all of them feel a new motivation in being active Europeans, and no less British as a result,” the researcher added.
The analysis is based on figures from the OECD and national statistics offices in the relevant countries.
Quantitative parts of the study looked at British nationals who left the country between 2008 and 2019.
As many as 30 percent of this group said that Brexit had affected their mental health, and half said that they would consider giving up their British nationality if necessary to be able to keep their EU nationality.
The deadline for Brexit is currently October 31st, with an EU decision outstanding on the length of an extension to be offered to the UK.