Official figures revealed that the net migration from the European Union has plummeted to its lowest level in nearly a decade.
The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the net migration, the number of new arrivals less the number of people leaving, stood at about 57,000 in the year up to September 2018.
More citizens went home as compared to those who arrived in the United Kingdom over the past year from the eight central and eastern European countries which joined the European Union in 2004, including Lithuania and Poland.
A director of the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, Madeleine Sumption, stated: “Britain is not as attractive to EU migrants as it was a couple of years ago.”
She added: “That may be because of Brexit-related political uncertainty, the falling value of the pound making UK wages less attractive, or simply the fact that job opportunities have improved in other EU countries.”
However, immigration from outside the European Union is at its highest level since 2004, with more students and workers arriving over the past five years. An estimated 261,000 people arrived in the United Kingdom from outside the European Union.
Some commentators said that there had been a striking ‘Brexodus’ effect before the United Kingdom has even left the bloc, with Brexit scheduled for the 29th of March.
The decline in the number of EU arrivals will probably prove a significant headache for many employers who are reliant on migrant labour, however, it will be welcomed by many Brexit supporters.
A senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, Stephen Clarke, stated: “Migration is changing before we leave the EU and before we’ve made any changes to the immigration regime.”
He added: “Post-Brexit Britain’s migration system is still to be decided, and is years away from coming into effect. But many areas of the labour market – particularly firms in high-turnover sectors like hospitality who are reliant on the free movement of EU workers – are going to have to adjust to lower migration well before the new system is in place.”
Overall, approximately 283,000 more people from around the globe moved to Britain than left the country.