UK Not So Attractive For Eastern Europeans

There has been a sharp fall in the numbers of eastern European migrants applying to work in the UK.

Research undertaken by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford showed that just over 26,000 National Insurance (NI) numbers were registered to migrants of the so-called A8 countries in the first quarter of 2017. NI numbers are required by migrants looking to work in the UK.

The figure is a drop of around a third compared to the same period in 2016.

The A8 countries consist of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Registrations for NI numbers by A8 migrants reached a peak of over 111,000 in the first quarter of 2007.

Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva, acting director of the Migration Observatory, indicated that the fall in numbers was due to the UK becoming “less of an attractive destination” for eastern European migrants since the UK voted to leave the EU.

He said: "Aside from the economic factors other things like the lack of clarity about their long-term legal status, and highly-publicised xenophobic attacks, may also have affected EU citizens' choice to come to the UK, or to remain here."

The Migration Observatory report, ‘Brexodus? Migration and uncertainty after the EU referendum’ also suggested the drop in value of the pound against other currencies may be to blame for the fall in in EU net migration.

The research comes as recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that there was almost a 30% increase in the number of eastern Europeans emigrating from the UK in the year to September 2016. 

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