Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that net migration to the UK has fallen to its lowest level in three years. This appears to have arisen from the increased departure of EC citizens after the Brexit referendum decision. The drop is the largest decrease in net long-term migration in any 12-month period since records began in 1964.
The net migration figure of 246,000 (which is the difference between immigration and emigration) was 81,000 lower than the figure recorded in the March 2016 (327,000). There has been a particularly sharp rise of 17,000 departures by citizens from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Commentators have warned that the referendum result may be causing a “brain drain” from vital industries following the referendum. This drop has occurred against the backdrop of the UK government’s aim at bringing net migration to under 100,000.