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E.g., 06/25/2019

Will Somerville

Experts & Staff

Will Somerville

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.

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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

October 2018
By Meghan Benton, Antonio Silva, and Will Somerville
May 2016
By Sunder Katwala and Will Somerville
January 2014
By Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Will Somerville
January 2014
By Elizabeth Collett and Will Somerville
Policy Briefs
May 2013
By Andrew Geddes and Will Somerville
April 2011
By Richard Black, Michael Collyer, and Will Somerville
January 2010
By Madeleine Sumption and Will Somerville


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.

The United Kingdom has faced changing immigration patterns over the last two decades driven largely by EU migration, and political upheaval caused by the rise of the United Kingdom Independence Party and the Scottish National Party. Upcoming general elections in May 2015 will have a significant impact not only on immigration policies but the United Kingdom's place in the European Union.

Recent immigration to the United Kingdom is larger and more diverse than at any point in its history. This updated profile examines how the global recession is affecting migration flows, the latest immigration and asylum data, and overviews of new immigration and integration policies.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who announced his resignation this week, leaves behind an immigration system that has been fundamentally reshaped. As MPI's Will Somerville explains, migration is now "managed" to favor migrants coming for work and study.
June 2016
By Will Somerville
Video, Audio
May 25, 2016

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.

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