Between May and December 2022, the MIGZEN People’s Panel tracked the ongoing impact of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic on future migration plans, understanding of citizenship and sense of belonging of a cohort of British citizens living abroad, EU citizens and other immigrants living in the UK since before the end of the Brexit transition period.
The novel design of this element of the MIGZEN research was intended to bring together a broad range of participants from across different demographics, including those who had moved to and settled in the UK, either through the EU’s Freedom of Movement regime or UK immigration controls, and British citizens who had made lives for themselves in the EU’s 27 member states.
The primary aim of the panel was to keep a finger on the pulse of how and in what ways Brexit, Covid-19, and other major events occurring over the period covered by the research continued to impact on the lives and practices of those taking part.
Recruitment & Sampling
We recruited participants from three target populations who have arrived/settled in their current country of residence pre-Brexit: British citizens living in the EU/EEA; EU-27/EEA citizens who have been living in the UK, and citizens of countries outside of the EU27/EEA/Britain who have been living in the UK.
We circulated our Call for Participants (in English) on the MIGZEN project’s social media, amongst the approx. 2000 people who had taken part in the MIGZEN survey in the winter of 2021/22, and through our networks established through previous research (Eurochildren and BrExpats). Our partner organisations the3million, British in Europe, and Migrant Voice also circulated these calls through their networks. Finally, we reached out to university networks, migrant-run or centred organisations across the UK and EU. Our recruitment drive took place concurrently with the launch of the first task in May 2022. We then continued to engage in active recruitment until the end of the 3rd task.
Interested participants were invited to respond to a set of eligibility questions administered via the online survey platform Qualtrics, followed by an online consent form, and a voluntary survey to capture sociodemographic information. We had initially aimed to recruit 200 panellists, but the first round of recruitment far exceeded this. Anticipating attrition, we decided to extend this to 400.
A set of six tasks was administered to the panel via the online survey platform Qualtrics on a monthly basis from May 2022 to December 2022. These were designed to deepen our understanding of how those taking part related to the themes at the heart of the research: migration, mobility, and Britain’s borders after Brexit. Each task was distributed to panellists and kept open for 3 weeks. Reminders were sent one week before closing, and participants were given the options to opt out at any point during or in between tasks. Those opting into the panel were assigned a panellist code so we could link responses from the same participant across tasks/longitudinally.
Tasks were framed in response to emergent findings of the MIGZEN project or ongoing and pressing real-world events. Each task was designed to take approx. 5-10 minutes to complete and included a combination of open and closed questions as appropriate to the task, framed to elicit reactions, assessments, associations, or feelings of those participating.
The table below offers an overview of the tasks:
Type of questions
No. of responses
The Jubilee & You
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Feelings about the Queen and the monarchy.
24 May– 15 Jun
Picture upload, Open (text and word) & closed (multiple choice & likert scale)
Moving through Summer
Travel restrictions & chaos, uneven mobility and freedom of movement, transnational family trips.
21 Jun – 13 Jul
Open (text and word) & closed (multiple choice)
The Commonwealth Games 2022
Feelings and knowledge about the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth as an institution.
20 Jul – 10 Aug
Open (text and word) & closed (multiple choice & likert scale)
Family ties, connecting and staying in touch across borders.
14 Sep - 5 Oct
Open (text) & closed (multiple choice & likert scale)
Crises upon Crises
Cost of living crisis, energy crisis.
Impact on people’s lives and perceptions of government response to crises.
10 Nov – 1 Dec
Open (text) and closed (multiple choice & likert scale)
The UK Border after Brexit
Migration to Global Britain.
Perceptions of flows and numbers, as well as government responses.
7 Dec – 29 Dec
Open (text) & closed (likert scale)
Table 1: People’s Panel tasks.
We expected high levels of attrition but had unexpectedly high retention, thus ending up with a cohort of 190 participants who participated in all 6 tasks (Table 2), with nearly 300 people completing at least 4 tasks.
Task participation count out of 6
Table 2: Number of people who completed number of tasks out of a total of 6 tasks.
The data produced through this phase of the MIGZEN project will be imported to NVivo for analysis alongside the other data produced. The analysis of the data will feed into the project outputs, from academic journal articles through to the podcast series launching in May 2023.