Net immigration to the United Kingdom reached a historical record of 504,000 people in the twelve months to June of this year, a period in which -however- the citizens of the European Union (EU) in the country fell by 51,000, indicated this Thursday (24.112022) the National Statistics Office (ONS).
The increase in net immigration – the difference between people arriving in the UK (1.06 million) and those leaving (560,000) – is partly due to the arrival of refugees from Ukraine (89,000) and Afghanistan (21,000 ), and the special visa program for Hong Kong citizens (76,000).
The increase in student visas has also contributed, particularly from India (118,000), China (115,000) and Nigeria (65,000). The net immigration figure exceeds the previous record of 336,000 people, registered in 2015, and is more than double compared to the twelve months prior to June 2021 (239,000).
During the period studied, in addition to the reduction in the number of Europeans living in the United Kingdom, there was also a net emigration of 45,000 British who decided to leave the country.
An official spokesman for the British Prime Minister, Conservative Rishi Sunak, said there have been “some unique and unprecedented circumstances that have had a significant impact on the statistics.” The head of government “has said that he wants to reduce net immigration”, but “has not specified a specific period of time” to achieve it.
The director of the Oxford University Migration Observatory, Madeleine Sumption, told the BBC that “all the analyzes suggested that migration would fall as a result of post-Brexit migration policies.”
Those laws “greatly restrict the options for European Union citizens to come to the UK and certainly net migration from the European Union is a negative,” he added. “Humanitarian routes to Ukraine and Hong Kong, along with a rebound in international students, have played a larger role in increasing levels of immigration,” she said. (EFE)