'The UK has clearly become a less attractive country for EU migrants'
PUBLISHED: 06:47 27 August 2018
The number of people moving to Suffolk and Essex from abroad has been falling following the Brexit vote, new figures show.
The net migration to both these counties has dropped since the EU referendum in June 2016, with the lower value of the pound and uncertainty caused by Brexit cited as possible reasons.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show fewer people emigrating to Suffolk from abroad, while more are moving away.
The ONS estimates from July 2015 to June 2016 1,346 more long-term migrants arrived from abroad in Suffolk than left. However in the 12 months after Brexit that figure dropped by 493.
In total, 3,326 people moved to Suffolk from abroad and 2,473 left, leaving the latest net migration figure at 853.
That means Suffolk’s migrant population is still rising, but at a slower rate than before the referendum.
It is a similar picture in Essex.
The ONS estimates that from July 2015 to June 2016 3,623 more long-term migrants arrived from abroad in Essex than left. However in the 12 months after the Brexit vote, that figure dropped by 771.
In total, 6,531 people moved to Essex from abroad and 3,679 left, leaving the latest net migration figure at 2,852.
While the figures do not give details of where migrants came from, the latest national statistics for 2017-18 show EU migration is at its lowest level since 2012.
Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, 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.”
Nicola Rogers, of the ONS’ Centre for Migration, 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.”
It is still well above the Government’s net migration target of 100,000.