Key policy recommendations for the new government

Although children had no say in the EU referendum, the result will have a profound impact on the lives of children and young people for many years to come. For this reason, it is critical that Parliament considers the impact of Brexit on the rights of children and young people and urges the Government to put the best interests of children first.

This briefing addresses four key areas of concern which need to be resolved before the UK leaves the European Union – EU migrant children living in the UK, the safeguarding of children after Brexit, the potential impact on child poverty, and ensuring that children‟s voices are heard in decision making.


  1. Act in the best interests of EU children living in the UK
    - Make a commitment to all EU children living in the UK that decisions about where they live will be based on their best interests, not just their parents’ employment history.
  2. Protect children’s safety
    - Ensure that the UK has continued membership of Europol and Eurojust, and participation in the European Arrest Warrant and other necessary cross border mechanisms, to maintain and improve safeguarding for children on and offline.
  3. Take action against child poverty
    - Commit to retain or replace provision for children in disadvantaged communities currently paid for through the European Social Fund and other programmes.
    - In the context of increased inflation rates following the decision to leave the European Union, the Government should end the freeze on benefits and Tax Credits for children and families, which is currently in place until 2020.
  4. Give young people a say
    - The Government should commit to ensuring that children’s voices are heard on decisions about how we leave the EU.

Download the full briefing

This briefing was co-ordinated by The Children's Society, and is supported by:

Children England
National Children's Bureau
Coram Children's Legal Centre
Children's Rights Alliance for England