Net migration to the UK has dropped by more than 106,000 since the result of the Brexit referendum. It appears that the referendum has convinced many EU citizens to move away from the UK or not come in the first place. The ongoing negotiations seem not to be producing much certainty for EU citizens currently living in the UK at present and the drop is not much of a surprise. The staggering drop is a worrying indicator of what lies ahead for the UK and its net migration figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that the number of people moving to live in Britain long-term had fallen to 230,000 in the year to June. This would be the largest fall in recorded history. Nicola White, who is the Head of International Migration Statistics for the ONS spoke about the figures. She stated that while the UK population was still growing, the reduction in net migration figures was "statistically significant."
She added, "The decline follows historically high levels of immigration and it is too early to say whether this represents a long-term trend." She went on to say "The number of people immigrating for a definite job has remained stable but there has been a 43 percent decrease in the number of people immigrating to look for work over the last year, especially for EU citizens."
"These changes suggest that Brexit is likely to be a factor in people's decision to move to, or from the UK - but decisions to migrate are complex and other factors are also going to be influencing the figures."
Though Theresa May has issued an appeal for EU migrants to remain in Britain after Brexit, it appears that her appeals have been ignored. The worry for many is that the skilled migrants that the UK desperately needs will go to other European capitals. Germany and France have been proactively trying to entice businesses away from the UK with some marked success. Many financial institutions want to carry on their EU business and have been forced to relocate to the mainland Eurozone to carry on operating. These job losses will hit the UK hard. The financial industry is a big deal in the UK and its workers tend to be well paid, contributing significant tax revenues to the country's coffers. If the industry gradually moves away, it will be one of the worst casualties of Brexit.
Unless EU citizens can get the surety that they need to remain in the UK, you can expect migration figures like these to keep hitting the news. People move to the UK for a better future, at this minute in time it would appear their futures lay better somewhere else. This should be a worry to the Government, but so far, their inaction on the future of immigrants is causing the panic not allaying it.