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Record fall in net migration since Brexit vote

01 December 2017

Net migration to the UK fell by more than 100,000 – the largest annual fall on record – in the year after the referendum on EU membership, official data from the Office for National for National Statistics (ONS) showed. Immigration from EU significantly reduced

The net total of permanent arrivals of 230,000 in the year to June compared to the record 336,230 in the 12 months to June 2016. The sharpest drop was recorded among EU citizens, whose future status in Britain has still not been resolved in Brexit talks. In all, 230,000 EU immigrants arrived in the year to June, compared to 284,000 in the previous 12 months. At the same time, the number of EU citizens emigrating rose by 28,000 to 123,000. But immigration from the rest of the world dropped, too: from 291,000 to 263,000.

Nicola White, head of migration statistics at the ONS, said, “Overall more people are still coming to live in the UK than are leaving and, therefore, net migration is adding to the UK population. “The first full year of data since the EU referendum vote in 2016 shows a decrease in the number of people coming to live in the UK and an increase in the number leaving, resulting in a fall in net migration of 106,000. “Over three-quarters of the fall in net migration was accounted for by EU citizens. The decline follows historically high levels of immigration and it is too early to say whether this represents a long-term trend. “The number of people immigrating for a definite job has remained stable but there has been a 43 per cent decrease in the number of people immigrating to look for work over the last year, especially for EU citizens. “These changes suggest that Brexit is likely to be a factor in people’s decision to move to or from the UK - but decisions to migrate are complex and other factors are also going to be influencing the figures.”

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