Net migration to the United Kingdom has fallen to 230,000, the lowest level since 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics’ quarterly migration numbers.

Key figures:

  • Net migration fell 106,000 from June 2016 to June 2017 from a high of 336,000.
  • EU nationals accounted for more than three-quarters of the decrease. The number of EU nationals leaving the U.K. increased by 28,000 to 123,000 in the year ending June 2017—19 percent over the previous year. French, Germans, Spanish and Polish nationals led the emigration.
  • Long-term immigration to work decreased by 51,000 to 261,000, driven by the decline in EU nationals coming to the U.K. “looking for work.” Those coming to the U.K. for a “definite job” remained stable.
  • The number of EU nationals who were issued residency documents quadrupled compared with the previous year, and those applying for British citizenship doubled.

BAL Analysis: The historic decline in net migration may be an indication that EU nationals are leaving the U.K. at least in part due to the uncertainties caused by Brexit, and appears to reinforce business concerns of a drop in available skills and the availability of talent.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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