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The EU referendum and UK poverty

By OnePlusOne, 08 August 2016

This briefing from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (published before the referendum result) considers UK poverty in relation to the EU referendum in June 2016, with a focus on the impact of each decision on the UK’s poorest people and places. The briefing outlnes that a vote to leave the EU contains uncertainty about what kind of arrangement the UK will negotiate with the EU, with each scenario involving different potential effects on issues related to UK poverty.

It is suggested that direct savings from the UK’s net contribution to the EU budget could be spent on poverty reduction and public services. But this decision will depend on government priorities. The short and long term effects of Brexit are predicted to lead to a decline in GDP, which is flagged as an event that would affect the state’s capacity to support people at risk of poverty. The briefing concludes that whether the UK decides to remain a member of the EU or leave the EU, the choices made by the UK government remain crucial determinants of relative and absolute poverty levels in the UK.

Read the full briefing here.


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