Net worldwide migration to United Kingdom hits three-year low

Patrice Gainsbourg
Agosto 25, 2017

Other data shows a sharp post-referendum rise in the number of documents issued to European Union nationals certifying their right to live in the United Kingdom permanently, with more than 130,000 handed out in the year to the end of June.

The ONS figures revealed emigration from all countries has risen and immigration has fallen.

ONS said long-term worldwide migration was estimated to be 246,000 in the year ending March 2017, down 81,000 from 327,000 a year earlier. That is the lowest since the year ending March 2014.

Official estimates based on a sample survey had suggested a gap of about 100,000 a year between those entering and leaving when their course ended.

Stephen Clarke, policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said the fall in net migration would have significant implications for the UK's labour market.

The European Union's highest court could still carry weight in Britain after Brexit even though the country will leave its "direct jurisdiction", the United Kingdom government said Wednesday.

Stuart McDonald, the SNP MP, said Holyrood must have powers over immigration to meet Scotland's needs.

"There is a clear and urgent need for the UK Government to secure the rights of EEA nationals living here and to ensure there is no labour cliff-edge when the UK leaves the EU".

The Prime Minister's allies argued that the fall in annual net migration announced yesterday showed progress towards the target.

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Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said the statistics showed that the devolved nations should be given the ability to set their own immigration levels after Brexit.

"The majority immigrated with a definite job (188,000) but fewer people arrived looking for work (down 39,000 to 87,000 - a statistically significant decrease)".

Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: "This is a step forward but it is largely good fortune". "If we can not ensure access to the seasonal workers needed to produce soft fruit in Britain, that will be an unintended effect of Brexit - along with soaring prices and increased reliance on imports", he said.

He said the sector's wage bill is going up because it has to pay overtime rates to address the shortfall.

The net migration rate per 1,000 of the population was 0.58 in Angus in the year to June 2016, significantly lower than the 4.59 the previous year.

So far this detail has not been forthcoming, hence the anxiety caused by statistical straws in the wind such as yesterday's ONS figures, or the recent projection that Scotland's population growth to 2024 will be only 3.1 per cent on the current trajectory, compared to England's 7.5 per cent increase over the same period.

Alexander Winterstein, a spokesman at the EU's executive Commission, said Wednesday that the bloc's position was "transparent and unchanged". "We are still managing to get everything picked but our wage bill is higher because we are paying more overtime". "Brexit is already having a negative impact on our industry".

"Higher education is a key sector of our economy and being open to the best students and workers from around the world is vital for the success of British business", he said.

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