Brexodus is not happening, ONS suggests despite EU net migration falling to 100,000

Steven Swinford
Theresa May, the Prime Minister - REUTERS

Brexodus is not happening, the Office for National Statistics has suggested despite net migration of citizens from the EU falling to 101,000 - the lowest level for four years.

The number of EU migrants coming to the UK in the year to December 2017 fell by 9,000 to 240,000, while the number leaving rose by 23,000 to 139,000.

However the Office for National Statistics said that the fall is not "statistically significant" and highlighted the fact that many more EU citizens are coming to the UK than leaving.

It came as overall levels of net migration, including non-EU citizens, rose to 282,000 fuelled by a surge in the number of people coming to the UK from Asia.

People still want net migration to drop

Jay Lindop, Deputy Director of the ONS's migration division, said: "Much has been written about EU citizens leaving the UK, but the fact is there are still more people coming to the country from the EU than leaving it.

"In fact, the last quarter shows that around 100,000 more EU citizens are coming to the UK than leaving."

Lord Green of Deddington, the chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: "These are very disappointing figures. Migration from the EU is still adding 100,000 a year to our population and non-EU net migration is the highest level in a calendar year for 13 years. 

"It's time for the government to get serious about reducing immigration instead of caving into every demand of the immigration lobby."

Caroline Nokes, the immigration minister, acknowledged that"more needs to be done" to bring net migration down to the Government's target of 101,000 a year. 

Nicola White, of the ONS's Migration Statistics Division, said: "With around 280,000 more people coming to the UK than leaving in 2017, these latest figures show that migration has continued to add to the UK population.

"Net migration fell following record levels in 2015 and early 2016 and has been broadly stable since. This is similar to the level recorded in the year ending September 2014.

"Underlying this, immigration has remained broadly stable at around 630,000 and emigration has shown a gradual increase since 2015 and is currently at around 350,000."