'Two thirds of net migration to the UK was non-EU', says Migration Watch

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Two thirds of net migration to the UK came from non-EU nations, as official figures show migration from the EU has fallen to its lowest level in nearly five years.

An estimated 101,000 more people from the bloc arrived than left in 2017, according to the first data for a full calendar year since the Brexit vote.

The latest figure is the lowest for any 12-month period since the year to March 2013, when it stood at 95,000.

While net migration has fallen from record levels of around a third of a million in 2015 and 2016, it is still well above the Government's target of less than 100,000.

While the government is still vying for a deal with the EU, as Britain prepares to leave the bloc, two thirds of net migration comes from nations outside the European Union.

Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer on talkRADIO, Neil Anderson, a spokesperson for Migration Watch said:  “Two thirds of net migration was non-EU, so clearly the government has a huge amount of work to do to get this down.

“We hope that with these negotiations with the EU that they find an arrangement that isn’t akin to free movement, but what is most concerning is that we still have non-EU migration of over 200,000 and this is something the government does have control over.

“So, we do expect to see significant drops in the future in response to viable government policy instead of cosmetic tweaks we’ve seen in the last year.”

Even with EU migration dropping, Mr Anderson argues that people from the continent are still interested in coming to the UK.

“It’s impossible to say why, there’s certainly still huge pressures from eastern Europe to come here, in terms of the salary differential, in terms of conditions, but people are still very interested in coming here.

“Let’s not forget the figure is still over 100,000 a year, and this is just EU, so if the government target for EU and non-EU is ever to be met then while EU alone sits at 100,000 this is going to be completely unattainable.”