- On June 23, 2016 the United Kingdom (UK) held a vote to determine whether to remain in the European Union (EU) or withdraw. The British exit from the EU, or Brexit, is the antithesis of two centuries of progressive social work theory developed by a series of prominent social workers and influential policy brokers. Two years later, the UK's exit from the EU remains uncertain as politicians and policy makers scramble to implement the referendum without significantly damaging the economy and its own citizens. While the UK's political machine grapples with the details of leaving, attitudes towards social program funding, immigration status, and the roles of social workers remain inconsistent. This essay provides a historical background of the integration of social work into policy writing, detail surrounding the dangerous precedent regarding anti-immigration policies, and the possible negative effects of Brexit on social work and the welfare state. Arguments in this essay examine the practical implications of applying Advocacy Coalition Frameworks and Street Level Bureaucracy theories to a continually evolving social policy framework. I will argue that the impact of Brexit on British social work will have a wide range of detrimental effects including a decreased work force that is forced to serve a growing client base.
- Keywords: Brexit, social work, immigration, UK, Britain, policy