All Change: The Impact of Government Policy on Migration Composition and Social Cohesion

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

All Change: The Impact of Government Policy on Migration Composition and Social Cohesion

19th April 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

With the UK’s departure from the EU, the British government has regained significant policymaking powers over immigration and borders. Five years on from the referendum, and a year after the end of the transition period, we can now see the first signs of a post-Brexit border regime for Britain. Net migration from non-EU countries reached its highest level on record in 2019, while net migration from EU countries fell three quarters from its 2016 peak. In 2020, net migration from the EU was negative, as large numbers of EU citizens left Britain.

Should these trends continue, the UK is likely to become a very different society in the coming years. Understanding the composition of migration to the UK is therefore critical to understanding its effect on social cohesion, and accordingly the degree of net inflow that the UK should be looking to achieve.

To discuss these issues, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to gather a panel of world experts to discuss the trends seen thus far and their impact on the cohesiveness in the UK.



May Bulman is The Independent’s Social Affairs Correspondent. She won the Anti-Slavery Day award for Best News piece in both 2017 and 2019, was shortlisted for the Specialist category in the British Journalism Awards 2019 and came runner up for Investigative Journalism in The Drum Online Media Awards for her refugee coverage in 2017. She strives to expose injustices and has a particular interest in immigration, modern slavery youth justice and homelessness.



Annabel Denham is Director of Communications at the Institute of Economic Affairs. Before joining the IEA in 2020, Annabel was Associate Director at The Entrepreneurs Network think tank, where she helped set up the APPG for Entrepreneurship and the Female Founders Forum, a group of leading female entrepreneurs. She was previously Parliamentary Researcher for Lord (Peter) Lilley and Deputy Opinion Editor at City AM. Annabel has written reports on the gender pay gap and future of work. She is a columnist at The Spectator, writes regularly for The Telegraph, and frequently appears on BBC’s Politics Live, Sky News, Times Radio, LBC and the BBC News Channel.



Helena Ivanov is a PhD Candidate in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research focuses on the relationship between propaganda and violence against civilians. In her thesis, Helena examined the role propaganda played during the Yugoslav Wars and produced a model for studying propaganda which details the key phases, functions, discourses, and techniques of propaganda (the model itself is applicable to other contexts). Additionally, Helena also served as a Manager at the Centre for International Studies at the LSE.

Prior to her PhD, Helena completed an MPhil in Political Theory at the University of Oxford, and holds a BA in Politics from the University of Belgrade.



John Penrose has been MP for Weston-super-Mare since 2005. His campaigns to stand up for citizen-consumers include his Government-commissioned report into Competition Policy: Power To The People: Stronger Competition & Consumer Choice So Markets Work For PeopleNot The Other Way Aroundits predecessor A Shining City Upon A HillRebooting Capitalism For The Many Not The Fewthe Energy Price Cap, making housing cheaper to own or rent by allowing urban owners and developers to Build Up Not Out (now enshrined in the Government’s planning reforms); making Britain’s economy more generationally and socially just through a UK Sovereign Wealth Fund; and reforming formerly-nationalised utilities (e.g. energy, telecoms, water, rail) to put customers in charge, rather than politicians, bureaucrats or regulators instead.

John’s education was entirely state-funded, starting with a Church of England Primary school before winning a state scholarship to Ipswich School and then a place at Cambridge University to study law. The only exception was his MBA at Columbia University in New York, which he paid for himself. A successful businessman before he entered politics, John has held a variety of posts since he was elected, including PPS to Oliver Letwin, Shadow Business Minister, Tourism & Heritage Minister, Government Whip, Constitution Minister and Northern Ireland Minister. He is currently the Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion, Chair of the Conservative Policy Forum and sits on the Party’s Policy Board. John is also an Honorary Patron of the South West branch of the Mankind Initiative – an expert and specialist charity in the UK focussing on male victims of domestic abuse.





On the 19th of April John Penrose MP, the UK Anti-Corruption Champion, May Bulman, The Independents Social Affairs Correspondent, Annabel Denham, Director of Communications at the Institute of Economic Affairs, and Helena Ivanov, Associate Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, discussed how the changing trends in migration to the UK will impact social cohesion.

John Penrose began the discussion by introducing the speakers and topic of discussion. Helena Ivanov discussed her conclusions from the report and how non-EU migration is replacing migration from the EU and how permanent these changes are. She argued that there are reasons to be optimistic that these changes will not damage social cohesion, but that a fairer national asylum distribution system is needed. May Bulman spoke about the asylum system and the recent spike in asylum applications and how most irregular asylum seekers are now arriving by small boat. She described the existing problems with the asylum system such how they are concentrated in deprived areas, and the negative impacts this has on cohesion. Annabel Denham focused on the economics of migration and drew a distinction between the economic and cultural impact of the two. She spoke how people used economic arguments against migration when cultural issues were likely more important and how the economists always neglect cultural feeling in their analysis on migration.

The event closed with a series of questions about, what needs to be changed to improve integration, why the UK so slow in processing asylum applicants, and whether Britain facilitating a global brain drain is good for the world.




19th April 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


United Kingdom + Google Map


Annabel Denham, May Bulman, Helena Ivanov, John Penrose MP


Israel, the Jewish Diaspora and the Weaponization of Language

6 February @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Words have consequences. For decades, interest groups, political actors and ideologues opposed to the State of Israel have pursued, projected, and altogether crafted their bias by employing subversive strategies reliant on … Continued

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine as a Historical Inevitability and Its Possible Ramifications

7 February @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

At different times, Russia has justified the invasion of Ukraine as a response to Ukrainian nationalism, Ukrainian genocide of Russians and NATO enlargement. With all reasons voiced by the Kremlin debunked over … Continued

Understanding the Political Quagmire in Israel

8 February @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Israel is in the grips of a new political reality as the new government—described as the most right-wing in Israel’s history—takes the helm of a complicated set of priorities and … Continued



Lost your password?

Not a member? Please click here