European Union citizens leaving UK at record levels after Brexit vote: Report

August 24, 2017 10:30 pm

Passengers wait to check-in at a British Airways desk inside Terminal 5 of London’s Heathrow Airport on July 30, 2017. (AFP photo)

The number of citizens leaving Britain rose sharply in the past year following last year’s referendum to leave the EU, official figures show.
A total of 122,000 EU citizens left the in the 12 months ending in March, 33,000 higher than the previous year and the highest outflow in nearly a decade, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Thursday.   
Net migration — the difference between arrivals and departures — to Britain was 246,000 in the year to March 31, a fall of 81,000 compared to the year before and the lowest since 2013, the ONS said.
More than half the change in net migration was due to a decline of 51,000 from the EU.
The figures offer evidence that the political uncertainty and economic anxiety caused by Britain’s vote to exit the EU are having an impact on immigration.
The ONS results “indicate that the EU referendum result may be influencing people’s decision to migrate into and out of the UK,” said Nicola White, head of international migration statistics at the ONS.
The latest statistics “at least in part” reflected the impact of the Brexit vote, said Jonathan Portes, a professor at King’s College London.
Immigration was one of the central topics of last year’s EU referendum in the UK, which resulted in 52 percent of British citizens voting in favor of leaving the bloc.
About one in four people in Britain who voted for Brexit believe they were misled by the Leave campaign and more Britons would vote to stay in the EU if a second referendum was held, a new poll by Opinium has found.
The UK is currently due to leave the EU at the end of March 2019. 
The chance of a successful withdrawal and transition arrangement being agreed between the UK and the EU has fallen, Oxford Economics said in a report published Wednesday.
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