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Net migration from EU to UK at lowest level since December 2012

Difference between number of EU citizens entering and leaving UK is now just 87,000
Net migration to the UK from other EU countries has reached a near six-year low as a so-called Brexodus continues.
The difference between the number of EU citizens entering the UK and the number leavingsank to 87,000 in the year to March, its lowest level since the year to December 2012, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.
Net EU migration has continued to decline from a peak of 189,000 in the year to June 2016, a period ending with the vote to leave the EU. The shifthas been driven by both a decline in EU arrivals and an increase in EU citizens emigrating.
Net migration to the UK from the A8 countries that joined the EU in 2004 was negative for the first time as more left than arrived.About 45,000 citizens arrived from the eight countries, which include Poland, Czech Republic and Lithuania, while about 47,000 departed.
Madeleine Sumption, the director of the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, said: “The UK has clearly become a less attractive country for EU migrants since the referendum.
“The lower value of the pound means that workers coming here for higher wages are getting less than they were in the past, and economic conditions in many of the key EU countries of origin have improved a lot over the past few years. Uncertainty about the implications of Brexit may have played a role.”
A separate labour force survey produced by the ONSshowed a record fall in the number of EU nationals working in the UK. It revealed there were 2.28 million EU nationals working in the UK between April and June, 86,000 fewer than the same period a year earlier – the largest annual fall since comparable records began in 1997.
Jane Gratton, the head of business environment and skills at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “These figures are nothing to celebrate, and given businesses are facing record skills gaps at every level it’s disappointing to see the decline in people from Europe coming here to work.
“Despite valiant efforts to recruit at home, plus heavy investment in training, employers still need great people to fill job vacancies where there are local shortages.
“As the UK leaves the European Union, our government should be shouting from the rooftops about its desire to keep attracting talented people from the continent and beyond who want to live and work in one of the world’s most dynamic economies.”
The government continues to fail to hit its target of reducing overall net migration – including numbers from the EU and outside the EU – to the tens of thousands, as the headline figure hit 270,000 in the year to March, an increase of 28,000 year on year.
Nicola Rogers of the ONS’s migration centre said: “Today’s figures show that around 270,000 more people are coming to the UK than leaving, so net migration is continuing to add to the UK population.
“Net migration has been broadly stable since peak levels seen in 2015 and 2016. Looking at the underlying numbers we can see that EU net migration has fallen, as fewer EU citizens are arriving in the UK, and has now returned to the level last seen in 2012.”