This paper outlines the methods and describes the participants in a major research project: ‘Changing Status, Changing Lives? The socioeconomic impact of EU Enlargement on low-wage migrant labour in the UK’. This research project was motivated by the accession of the “A8” countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) to the European Union on 1 May 2004. Among the member states of the pre-enlarged EU, only Sweden, Ireland and the UK granted A8 nationals free access to the labour market immediately upon EU enlargement. This research aimed to study the consequences of granting most of the economic and social rights of an EU national to A8 nationals who were already working, either legally or illegally, in the UK before accession.
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