The number of people relocating to the UK from EU countries has fallen to the lowest level in approximately five years, according to official figures published on Monday 16 July 2018 by the Office for National Statistics (“ONS”).
The published ONS data demonstrated that the net long-term migration to the UK from the EU was 101,000 in 2017 – this was the first full calendar year since the Brexit vote. The last time the net migration between the EU and Britain was at such a low was the period ending in March 2013, when the net migration stood at only 95,000.
The net migration from the eight eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 - Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia and Latvia – was reported as having fallen from 42,000 in the year prior to the referendum to only 6,000 migrants in 2017.
Net migration from 14 more established member states, such as Germany, Italy, Spain and France, has almost halved since the vote, falling from 84,000 in the 12 months to June 2016 to 46,000 last year.
ONS data estimates that that 40,000 more Romanians and Bulgarians migrated to the UK than left last year, this is still however, the lowest joint net migration figure for the two countries since the year to September 2014.
Non-EU net migration was estimated to be 227,000 last year, which is more than twice the figure for EU migration.
The government said last week in a paper setting out its Brexit negotiating aims that it is going to aim to control the number of EU migrants entering the UK after Brexit, however, there are fears regarding this and the implications of the same, especially following the ONS statistics.
The fears come as EU migration has played a vital role especially when it has come to business in the UK. Despite the government’s position, the Institute of Directors said businesses were struggling to find people with the skills they needed and urged Prime Minister Theresa May to keep the door open on immigration. The latest figures triggered new calls for the government to ditch its target to bring net migration below six figures.
The new home secretary may take a different stance and support the business community by fulfilling their needs.
If you are a member of a EU state and are considering relocating to the UK but are unsure of your options post-Brexit, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.