Brexit sees tumble in net EU migration

Net migration to the UK amounted to 212,000 in the year to the end of June, its lowest level in six years, according to official figures published on Thursday.

Bowler hat with Union Jack illustration superimposed on it
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that net migration from EU27 nations - which was running at more than 200,000 in 2015-16 - stood at just 48,000 with the total of EU immigrants the lowest since 2013.With Brexit looming, immigration of EU citizens fell to 199,000 in the year to June, while 151,000 left Britain, the largest total since records began 10 years ago.

Decline in EU immigration to the UK for work since 2016

The ONS, which classes the figures as 'experimental' following admissions of earlier underestimates of migration figures, said there had been a decline in EU immigration for work since 2016, while people coming to the UK to study had progressively increased."Our best assessment using all data sources is that long-term immigration, emigration and net migration have remained broadly stable since the end of 2016. However, we have seen different patterns for EU and non-EU citizens," said an ONS spokesman."While there are still more EU citizens moving to the UK than leaving, EU net migration has fallen since 2016, driven by fewer EU arrivals for work."In contrast, non-EU net migration has gradually increased for the past six years, largely as more non-EU citizens came to study."
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Work and study visas granted

Separate figures published by the Home Office showed there had been 189,459 work-related visas granted in the year to September, representing an 11% increase on the previous year and the highest since changes to the immigration system in 2008.In the same period, 276,889 sponsored study visas were granted, including those for children of applicants, which rose 16% on the previous year and is the highest level since 2011. Chinese nationals account for 43% of such visas granted.Some 86% of applicants planned to study at UK universities, according to the Home Office.

Read more news and views from David Sapsted

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