Net UK immigration has falled by more than 100,000 following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, with figures showing that the number of people migrating from EU countries has reached its lowest level since 2013.
According to statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), net UK immigration was down to 230,000 in the year to June 2017, down from 336,000 days after the referendum took place in June 2016.
ONS figures also revealed that net UK immigration from the 15 countries that became member of the European Union before 2004 saw a significant decline, which has prompted concern amongst UK businesses who fear they may lose access to the EU labour market.
According to figures, net UK immigration from these countries, who tend to supply high-skilled workers to Britain, fell from 74,000 to 55,000 in the year to March.
Commenting on the numbers, Seamus Nevin, head of research for the Institute of Directors, said: “Disappointingly, today’s ONS figures show that the UK is facing a lose-lose situation of fewer EU migrants coming here as well as EU citizens leaving since last year’s vote to leave the European Union.”
Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, has suggested that the change in UK immigration with regards to these 15 countries is likely to be a result of high-skilled workers no longer being as attracted to working in Britain.
“This shows that the UK has become less attractive for western Europeans, who are the EU citizens most likely to be in highly skilled jobs,” she said.