Number of EU citizens moving to the UK is falling, says Brexit report

Monday, August 15, 2022

The number of EU nationals moving to the UK has steeply sunk since Brexit shuttered the doors of low-paid workers, a report reveals.

But it warns, Brexit could be caused by the high share of job vacancies across the UK - due in large part to the pandemic, an early retirement for 50-plus year olds, high levels of employment across Europe, and international labour shortages.

Data show that 277,069 work-related visas, including family members, were issued in the year to March 2022: a 129% increase compared with March 2021 and a 50% rise in the year to March 2020.

'The figures available to date therefore correspond to the possibility of a major decline in immigration into the EU,' said the report called 'The end of free movement and the low-wage labor force in the UK'

Sumption described immigration as a "bit of a blunt instrument" and noted that it had been "surprisingly difficult to measure shortages and work out how to target immigration policy towards them"

The report said there were 'competitive explanations' for the rise in job openings with decisions by people over 50 to quit the labour market 'being the main driver of the decline in the workforce compared to what is based on over-50s. pre-pandemic trends'.

The Report found that few sectors are adjusting to the changes in migration but noted that the filling of low-paid positions continues to be a problem.

There have been increases in the number of non-European nationals across a number of sectors, including construction and health care, but the report warns this workforce is not necessarily workers entering via the visa route and could be coming from the existing non-EU population of Britain who came in using family visas or the refugee routes.