The latest official immigration statistics show that the number of EU nationals entering the UK has fallen by 75,000 in the past year – the lowest level in the last five years.
The latest quarterly data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that total annual net migration to Britain in the 12 months to September fell by 29,000 to 244,000.
While the data doesn’t appear to tally up, it is because net migration from outside Europe rose to 205,000 during the same period.
Despite the falling level of EU net migration, 90,000 EU nationals entered the UK in the last year, meaning that more people are still coming to live in Britain than leaving.
When looking at those seeking work in the UK, the number fell by 45,000 to 248,000, this was primarily a result of 58,000 fewer EU citizens coming to work in Britain.
This drop was largely accounted for by a 35,000 reduction in those coming to look for work in Britain rather than to a definite job – suggesting that Brexit may be putting off some workers, particularly those in the skilled sectors if the latest official Home Office quota for skilled workers’ visas is anything to go by.
A 28,000 increase in the number of EU27 nationals returning home to live in the year to September 2017 also played a large part in the reduction of EU net migration.
The number of returning EU nationals during this period sat at 130,000 – the highest level of EU emigration from Britain in the last decade.
Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, said: “Net migration remains 29,000 lower than it was a year ago and once we leave the EU we will be able to put in place an immigration system which works in the best interest of the whole of the UK.
“At the same time, we have been clear that we want EU citizens already living here to have certainty about their future and the citizens’ rights agreement reached in December provided that.”
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