ADR UK (Administrative Data Research UK) has announced a grant of £177,053 to help better understand the needs and experiences of people in Wales who have European Union (EU) Pre-Settled and Settled Status.
The EUSS (European Union Settled Status) Data Linkage project, led by ADR Wales, aims to better understand the experiences of EU citizens with Settled Status in Wales and whether they differ to the experiences of British citizens living in Wales. This new understanding will assist with the development of better-informed policy and services that address the needs of this potentially vulnerable population.
As part of wider EU Exit arrangements, EU citizens resident in Wales before the end of the transition period are able to apply to secure ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status in the UK via the Home Office-run EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021. This status will allow those EU citizens to continue to live and work in the UK. First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, has committed the Welsh Government to doing all that it can to provide support and advice to EU citizens living in Wales. At present, official statistics on EU citizens and their immigration status are very limited. The EUSS Data Linkage project is born out of the First Minister’s commitment and the need to improve the evidence base on EU citizens in Wales who are part of the EU Settlement Scheme.
Central to the project will be the creation of a secure, de-identified, research-ready dataset that will help explore the experiences of EU citizens in Wales. By linking this new dataset to other anonymised data already held within the SAIL (Secure Anonymised Information Linkage) Databank, the EUSS project will enable a better understanding of the experiences and outcomes of EU citizens with Pre-settled (for citizens who do not have continuous five years residence in the UK prior to 31 December 2020) and Settled Status (for citizens who have lived in the UK for a continuous five year period prior to 31 December 2020) in Wales.
There are many elements researchers within this project aim to explore, including:
- The health (including mental health) of EUSS citizens in Wales. This data linkage will provide an opportunity to compare the health experiences of EUSS citizens with the rest of the population in Wales.
- The housing conditions of EUSS citizens in Wales. The quality of available housing often links to many other outcomes, such as health and employment, which have an impact on wellbeing. Being able to link EUSS citizen data to housing data would provide an opportunity to compare the housing experiences of EUSS citizens with the rest of the population in Wales.
- EUSS citizens’ involvement in the workforce. Understanding trends in the workforce is crucial to maintaining and improving the health of the economy. This research will investigate the experiences of EUSS citizens in the workforce.
- The educational experiences of EUSS citizens. As education attainment is such an important predictor of other outcomes, an understanding of the education experiences of EUSS citizens would be vital to understand the future support measures needed.
It is hoped that following initial exploration within Wales, the research can be expanded to the rest of the UK to help inform all four countries about the particular needs of EU citizens post-Brexit.
All data utilised within the EUSS Data Linkage project will be de-identified – meaning all personal identifiers have been removed. It will be held in a secure environment and only made available to the accredited researchers within ADR Wales and subject to strict governance and disclosure control measures.
The EUSS Data Linkage project is one of several funding grants made by ADR UK, an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) investment which aims to transform the way researchers access the wealth of administrative data already created by government and public bodies across the UK.
Jeremy Miles, Counsel General and Minister for European Transition, Welsh Government, said:
“EU citizens living in Wales make a huge contribution to our communities and in our workplaces. Many have been playing a crucial role in our businesses and public services at a crucial time. We want them to continue to feel the welcome and appreciation that Wales has always offered.
“I hope this project will provide an important new evidence base to enable us to better understand the experiences of EU citizens living in Wales and inform our work as we make sure our services best suit all parts of our population.”
Announcing the funding of EUSS, Dr Emma Gordon, Director of ADR UK, said:
“This year marks the start of the UK’s new relationship with the EU. As we emerge from the transition period, we will begin to see how this works in practice. In this time of change, we must ensure no part of the population, including EU Citizens with Settled Status, are disproportionately affected or disadvantaged. To do so, we must understand how their experience differs from others, and we can do this by utilising the power of linked administrative data. We look forward to the findings of this project, and hope it plays a role in evidence-based policymaking both in Wales and across the UK.”