Experts & Staff
UK Senior Fellow
Will Somerville joined the Migration Policy Institute as a Senior Policy Analyst in 2006, and is now UK Senior Fellow. He is also the Program Director for Unbound Philanthropy (UK) and Visiting Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield.
Prior to joining MPI, Mr. Somerville worked at the Commission for Racial Equality, the UK's Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, Cabinet Office, and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). He has authored more than 60 policy papers, chapters, and journal articles. His most recent book is Immigration under New Labour (2007, Policy Press).
He holds a master’s degree (with distinction) in social policy from the London School of Economics.
Bio Page Tabs
A discussion on how the politics and migration policies of the British government influenced the decision to hold the "Brexit" referendum, how public attitudes towards immigration might influence the decision whether the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, and how the outcome might impact migration policy in the United Kingdom and European Union more broadly.
While the political and economic ramifications of the UK vote to quit the European Union hit with full force within hours, it will take far more time to sort out what Brexit means for migration policy. In the short term, the rights of EU nationals living in Britain are the most pressing, with border-control negotiations and future immigration levels also high on the agenda. Against a backdrop of deep public skepticism, this commentary suggests the next government should underpromise and overdeliver.
This report analyzes British polling data in a bid to paint a more accurate picture of public opinion on immigration in the United Kingdom, which is often described as having particularly hostile attitudes compared to other countries. The report examines several drivers of public opinion, including media coverage, and considers how recent migration policies can be linked to public opinion—including the call for a Brexit referendum.
Against a backdrop of anxieties about migration, the United Kingdom's government set a referendum for June 2016 on whether to withdraw from the European Union. This article explores the role played by migration in the decision to call the referendum, how immigration might influence the result, and finally the implications of both referendum outcomes (Leave and Remain) in terms of migration policy and regulation.
This report analyzes developments in UK integration policy over the past 15 years—a period in which immigration levels increased substantially, with the composition of migration flows becoming increasingly temporary and diverse in nature. The analysis focuses on whether or not policy has influenced national identity, integration outcomes, and neighborhood cohesion.