Immigration has been suggested as the reason for why a narrow majority of people in the UK voted for Brexit. The concept was used to stoke up fear in areas of low immigration. However, immigration is not what sets the UK apart from other EU nations as unusual. The real reason for the Brexit vote was widespread and rising dissatisfaction with living standards as a result of rising inequalities.

The video below is a discussion that followed a talk which concentrated on that dissatisfaction and also discussed the first signs of a possible fall in economic inequality. Ironically economic inequality may now be beginning to fall possibly partly as a consequence of the Brexit vote. As the pound fell immediately after the referendum result it became harder for those with money in 2016 to go on holiday abroad. They became poorer on the international stage. As the housing market in London then began to stutter in 2017 landlords who owned houses and those with mortgages or the few very well-off people that owned out-right in the South East of England also became a little less well-off. There was no ‘greater fool’ to sell to any more. No one was happier, but it is possible that peak economic inequality had been reached. By February 2018 share prices were falling. On February 6th 2018 the head of research and trading at London Capital Group was quoted as saying: “The stock market open in the UK and Europe looks about as bad as it can get”

The map below shows that the North of England and Wales was home to remarkably few international migrants before the referendum vote, as few as were then found in most of Eastern Europe:

Each region of Europe is shaded by the proportion of the local population born in another country. Deepest blue is more than 20%

Each region of Europe is shaded by the proportion of the local population born in another country. Deepest blue is more than 20%


Danny Dorling and Daren Smith discuss: “Brexit: The result of rising inequality, not rising immigration”. A lecture given at the university of Loughborough in December 2017, discussion uploaded February 6th 2018.