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Net migration to UK falls to lowest level in almost six years

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Net migration to UK falls to lowest level in almost six years

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show net migration to Britain is at its lowest level for 6 years, driven by a fall in the number of European Union citizens moving to the country for work ahead of Brexit.

Immigration of EU citizens fell to 199,000 the lowest level since the year ending March 2013, the ONS said, extending a declining trend since the 2016 referendum, when Britons voted by 52% to 48% to leave the EU.

Following peak levels of over 200,000 in 2015 and early 2016, EU net migration has declined and now stands at 48,000 in the year ending June 2019.

Since 2015, EU citizen numbers emigrating from Britain has increased but there are still 212,000 more EU citizens moving to the UK, to stay for 12 months or more, than are leaving the UK.

“While there are still more EU citizens moving to the UK than leaving, EU net migration has fallen since 2016, driven by fewer EU arrivals for work. In contrast, non-EU net migration has gradually increased for the past six years, largely as more non-EU citizens came to study,” an Office for ONS spokesperson said.

An estimated 229,000 more non-EU citizens moved to the UK than left in the year ending June 2019. This has gradually increased since 2013 now at 74,000 in the year ending June 2019.

In contrast, following a peak of 190,000 in the year ending June 2016, the number of EU citizens arriving for work has fallen to 90,000, the lowest level since 2012.

The news emerged as the Tories stepped up their attack on Labour over its flip-flopping on immigration. 

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has pledged to limit the number of people coming to Britain by implementing an Australian-style points system, while the Labour Party Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said the immigration policy should fit the needs of the economy.

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