Did Brexit lead to Europe’s migrant crisis? It’s a lingering question, even among people who don’t share her point of view. Since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, a record number of people from the European Union (including those who did not intend to migrate) have reached Europe, according to the German Association of Refugee Aid (BAMF).
The refugee crisis began in earnest in 2014 with the influx of more than one million people, mainly from Syria, into the EU, according to the United Nations. Many of them tried to head to Germany, drawing the suspicion of many Germans who saw them as economic migrants, not refugees.
When Britain voted to leave the EU, around half of the country’s foreign born population thought the vote would lead to a reduction in immigration into the U.K., and 43 percent thought immigration would stay the same, according to data from Oxford University. Nearly 60 percent of migrants from other European Union nations thought that, too. But despite the call for less immigration, recent weeks have seen a surge in migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
A European police force, Europol, published a report last week that said “a substantial number of current migrants” were not believed to have come from Europe’s northern and western parts. But the report also warned that if more people from Africa and the Middle East migrated to northern Europe and joined those who already made it there, “a result is possible.”
While Germany has taken in more people than any other European country, many Germans fear that many of the refugees will not come back to the country. A few months after the Brexit vote, 63 percent of those who voted for the Leave campaign said they would not like to see more refugees coming to Germany, according to a recent poll.