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Post-Brexit net migration falls
©Danny Howard

Post-Brexit net migration falls

24/08/17Government

The UK has seen net migration fall to its lowest level in three years after a surge in the number of EU nationals leaving the country since the Brexit vote in June 2016.

Net migration – the difference between those entering and leaving the UK – fell by 81,000 to a total of 246,000 in the year, ending March 2017.

Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said: “It was good to see a third quarter running of net migration figures coming down.”

However, more than half of that change owes to a decrease in the net migration of EU citizens, which is down by 51,000.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a sharp rise – 17,000 – in the departure of citizens from EU8 countries – Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

A spokesman from the ONS added: “These results indicate that the EU referendum result may be influencing people’s decision to migrate into and out of the UK, particularly EU and EU8 citizens.

“It is too early to tell if this is an indication of a long-term trend.”

The office revealed that international migration for work remains the most popular reason for the move, but added that people are more likely to move if they have secured a job, rather than to look for work.

“Given unemployment is currently at its lowest level ever (4.5%), without the three million EU citizens living here the UK would have an acute labour shortage,” a spokesman for the Institute of Directors said.

Pan European Networks Ltd