The level of UK immigration from EU citizens has reached its lowest level since 2003, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics. The difference between the number of people who came to the UK from the EU, and how many left the UK this year has dropped to only 48,000. The issue is likely to be linked to the confusion around Brexit.
The chairman for Migration Watch UK, Alp Mehmet said that it’s not surprising that EU migration had fallen as a result of uncertainty regarding Brexit. However, there are other reasons why migration levels could be falling too.
For instance, the fact that the pound is no longer as valuable as it used to be means that the UK isn’t very attractive from an economic perspective either. Additionally, as political landscapes remain uncertain, people looking for UK visas and UK work permits wouldn’t know how to prepare for the future.
In response to the latest news about the migration levels, many groups have spoken out, referencing the harsh immigration environment that people face when applying for UK visas today. According to the UK policy director for the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) shortages are clear at every skill level already. Future immigration policies, according to Matthew Fell, need to be adjusted to focus on more than just the brightest and best of a country.
For the UK to thrive, many groups and thinktanks believe that immigration policies need to include UK work permits and visas for a wide range of professionals. For a country to remain strong and build a brighter future, it needs plumbers, bricklayers and care providers, as well as engineers, architects, and doctors.