Throughout the campaign, the leave side diverted their discontent to a scapegoat of immigration and fuelled xenophobia. While there is consensus that the result is linked to inequality, the impact of migration on inequality is contested.
The Womens Budget Group recent Policy Brief shows that inequality in the UK increased not because of migration, i.e. the mobility of labour, but because of the increased fallback options of capital related to increased capital mobility in the form of FDI and financialisation; declining fallback options of labour related to the decline in collective bargaining power, deregulation of the labour market, zero hours contracts and false self-employed contracts, austerity, housing crisis and rising household debt, which in turn is linked to financialisation and inequality.
The quick conclusions related to the impact of immigration on inequality, without adequately decomposing the impact of all other factors, misses the point that correlation is not causation.
The real solution to inequality requires regulating finance and the corporate governance of corporations, taming capital mobility, increasing public investment in social infrastructure and housing, regulating the labour market and improving the legislation to increase the voice of trade unions and collective bargaining coverage.