Net migration from Eastern Europe hits record low

26 May 2017 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Net migration from Eastern Europe has hit a record low, with as few as 5,000 people arriving in the UK from the countries in 2016.

Official figures have revealed that UK immigration from eight eastern European countries that joined the European Union after 2004 was at its lowest ever level in 2016 following Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Net migration is calculated by calculating the difference between the number of people who arrive in Britain each year and the number of people who leave, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Overall, net migration was estimated to be 248,000 in 2016, the lowest level for almost three years and a fall of 25 per cent on the previous year.

However, this figure is still significantly higher than the target set by Theresa May, who wanted to reduce net migration numbers to below 100,000 each year.

When it comes to UK immigration, the numbers finished at around 588,000 last year, a fall of 43,000 year-on-year. Specifically, immigration from the “EU8” states, including the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, was down by 25,000 to 48,000.

Commenting on the figures, Alp Mehmet, Vice Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “This reduction in net migration is welcome but it is still running at a quarter of a million a year – a level that would have once have been dismissed as incredible.”

"This means, broadly, a UK population increase of nearly half a million, every year. This is not a situation that can be allowed to slide.”