In the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the European union, it has been revealed that 650,000 people made the UK their home in the year to June 2016. Of this it’s believed that 284,000 of these people came from within the European union. The upsurge will come as no surprise as the threat of the UK leaving the European union caused many to make the decision that they may have been putting off.
The new figures will increase the pressure on the British government who have previously quietly dropped plans to reduce immgration to tens of thousands. Immigration minister Robert Goodwill said the government was “committed to getting net migration down”.
The figures represent the year ending at the week after the referendum. How the result of the referendum and Britains future negotiations will affect the figures going forward is unknown, but speculation will certainly lead many to think that this upsurge will continue and probably increase between now and the expected finish of Britains EU membership in 2019.
The figures mean that the UK had net immigration of 335,000. This would represent the second highest year in recorded history. Of these the net migration from the EU was 189,000.
New UKIP leader Paul Nuttall jumped on the conservative governments failure to keep its promises on immigration by stating “just go to show that you can’t trust the Tories to bring down immigration”.
This new figures will also increase calls from the right for Theresa May’s government to push for a “hard Brexit” this would involve no longer being members of the European single market, but would also mean that Britain could remove the freedom of EU nationals to enter the UK on a permanent basis. How that would affect the vast number of Britons who live abroad is yet to be thought of. But with Westminster and Brussels locked in a war of words over trade and immigration, which will no doubt be the main concern of the negotiations of Britains exit, it appears that citizens of both Britain and the European union will be the pawns in the chess game that will be the negotiations. But the commission have repeatedly warned that there will be no formal negotiations until Britain trigger article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, this act will formalise the referendum result and begin the two year period for Britains exit negotiations. Which by the looks of it will make compelling watching.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.