Migration in the UK has increased however its the non EU nationals that seem to be moving here and replacing the EU citizens. This is the highest net migration the UK has has since 2011. The Office for National Statistics did their first data research since the Brexit vote and found that the migration numbers rose from 249,000 in 2016 up to 282,000 in 2017. This hasn’t been much of a surprise since many EU nationals have expressed that they no longer feel welcome in Britain after the decision of Brexit was made.
New migrants that have arrived have already most likely secured a job before they even reach the country, the ONS said. The ONS found that 193,000 migrants came to the UK with a definite job secured, up from 180,000 in 2016. The number of people coming to look for work fell from 89,000 to 76,000. Many companies across the UK are worried that the country is already suffering from skills shortages as unemployment is at its lowest level in more than 40 years and a fall in immigration will intensify the problem.
European National are leaving
Net migration from eight eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 – Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia and Latvia – has fallen from 42,000 in the year prior to the referendum to 6,000 in 2017.
Since the Brexit vote net migration from the 14 more established member states such as France, Spain, Italy and Germany have also halved, falling from 84,000 in 2016 to 46,000 in 2017.
It has also been estimated that more than 40,000 Romanians and Bulgarians that migrated to the UK have left the country last year. However despite the drop in EU migration, migration on general has been on a rise in the last few years. Nicola White, of the ONS’s migration statistics division, said: “With around 280,000 more people coming to the UK than leaving in 2017, these latest figures show that migration has continued to add to the UK population.
Migration from the rest of the world has increased to 277,000 last year, up from 175,000 in 2016. This was particularly driven by a large number of migrants arriving from Asia, and a small increase from North America, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa. Gerwyn Davies from the Chartered Institute fro Personnel and Development has stated that “It’s a mystery how the number of non-EU workers is increasing when there are so many restrictions being placed on the visa limit for recruiting highly-skilled non-EU workers.” However the sharp increase in migrants coming from Asia may suggest that employers are going to much greater lengths to recruit abroad by using loopholes such as the intra-company transfer scheme to address the rising difficulty of recruitment.
“The recent increase in immigration has been driven by non-EU nationals and has taken place at a time when net migration from the Eastern European countries that joined the EU in the mid-2000s has been at zero,” said Stephen Clarke at the Resolution Foundation.
Prime minister wants migration levels to decrease
Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said the new figures were “very disappointing”, adding: “It’s time for the government to get serious about reducing immigration instead of caving into every demand of the immigration lobby.”
Although data suggests that the UK is still an attractive country it’s allure for EU migrants has declined significantly over the last couple of years. The prime minister said she remains committed to bringing net migration down to sustainable levels which will be in the tens of thousands.