Migration from European Union to UK falls sharply in 2017: Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford

June 21, 2017 10:30 pm

This file photo taken on February 20, 2017 shows a woman wearing a top showing flags of countries during a “Flag Mob” demonstration in Parliament Square in central London on February 20, 2017, part of a national day of action in support of migrants in the . (AFP photo)

A study carried out in suggests that the country is receiving far fewer numbers of migrants from European Union countries this year.
The results of the study released on Wednesday by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said migration from EU countries to Britain had fallen sharply in 2016, adding that the number of people arriving from Eastern European countries for work in Britain had fallen by about a third since the Brexit vote in June 2016.
The study said a fall in allocations of National Insurance numbers, required by people looking to work or claim social welfare in Britain, showed a significant decline in the number of people arriving from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
It found that the figure fell to the lowest level since the countries became part of the EU in 2004, adding that about 26,000 nationals of those states had registered with authorities in the first three months of this year, about a third lower than the first quarter of 2016.
The study said a plunge in the pound, which came after the Brexit vote, could be to blame for the fall in migration from EU states to Britain.
“The referendum result led to a wave of concern in global financial markets about the UK economy, which immediately resulted in a decline in the value of the pound against other major currencies, reducing the relative value of wages for foreign workers,” said the study.
Estimates suggest that about 3.6 million EU citizens were living in Britain in 2016, one million of them from Poland. A third of those migrants live in London and most of them are employed in farming, catering and the state-run National Health Service.
Carlos Vargas-Silva, the acting director of the Migration Observatory, said Britain was no longer an attractive country for workers. He said migrants are also becoming increasingly irritated by the uncertainty surrounding their long-term legal status in Britain and also an increase in highly-publicized xenophobic attacks.
“We are seeing indications that the UK has become less of an attractive destination for migrants from Poland and the other A8 countries since the referendum on leaving the EU,” Vargas-Silva said.
Britain has officially started negotiations for leaving the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May will announce her plans for the breath-taking talks in the coming days.
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