Emigration by EU citizens at an all-time high

By agency reporter
July 17, 2018

Net migration grew to 282,000 in 2017 – well below the peak recorded between mid-2014 and mid-2016 – but broadly in line with levels before the financial crisis, the Resolution Foundation said in response to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) migration figures.

The Foundation notes that EU emigration has risen from around 80,000 on the eve of the referendum to 139,000, while immigration to look for work (rather than already having a job) has fallen from 130,000 on 76,000.

Net migration from the rest of the world has risen over the course of the past year, up to 227,000 – emphasising that the country’s immigration debate should be about more than just the EU.

It adds that net migration from A8 countries is essentially zero, suggesting that job-seekers from Eastern European countries that joined the EU in the 2000s are most affected by post-referendum shifts in Britain’s economy and improved economic conditions across Europe.

Stephen Clarke, Senior Economic Analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Net immigration levels fell sharply in the wake of the EU referendum but they have now stabilised at pre-crisis levels.

“Overall immigration and emigration rates have remained steady, but below the surface there are shifts in who’s coming and who’s leaving. Emigration from the EU is at an all-time high and there are fewer job-seekers from Europe coming to the UK.

“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. This should remind us all that migration – and Britain’s migration policy – is not just about the EU.”

* Resolution Foundation https://www.resolutionfoundation.org/

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