Reducing net migration to UK to tens of thousands almost an impossible target – experts

None of the UK Government policies is likely to succeed in reducing net migration to tens of thousands, the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford has said.

Lastest net migration data show a sharp rise in emigration by EU8 nationals and a fall in immigration from the EU8 countries.

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that in 2016 the UK saw net migration of +248.

This is a statistically significant drop of 84,000 from 2015. The drop is due in large part to a statistically significant decrease of 41,000 in net migration of EU8 nationals.

Net migration from the EU8 countries currently stands at +5,000, the lowest estimate since these countries joined the EU in 2004.

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Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva, acting director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said: “While public opinion in the UK has supported reductions in immigration for many years, achieving these sorts of cuts is difficult in practice. It seems unlikely that we will see net migration in the ‘tens of thousands’ in the near future without either an economic downturn, or a new set of much more restrictive immigration policies. Even with the current low levels of net migration from the EU8 countries, the total estimate is still more than twice the Government’s target.”