United Kingdom


Fewer Easter Europeans moving to UK to work post Brexit vote

by Ray Clancy on June 22, 2017

A new analysis of official data shows that Brexit may be putting off people from Eastern Europe moving to the UK to work as numbers have fallen to a record low.

Applications by migrants from Eastern Europe for the right to work in Britain have plunged since the vote a year ago to leave the European Union, according to a report from think tank the Migration Observatory.

(melis/Bigstock.com)

National insurance numbers, which are necessary for anyone who wants a job legally in the UK, are down by a third from Eastern European nations, reaching their lowest since these countries joined the EU.

The research looked at the number of migrants from the so-called EU8 countries of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia, registering for national insurance numbers.

It found that numbers in the first quarter of 2017 fell to just over 26,000 from just under 40,000 in the same period in 2016, the lowest level of A8 registrations since 2004 before these countries joined the EU and a fraction of the 2007 peak of more than 111,000 registrations.

‘We are seeing indications that the UK has become less of an attractive destination for migrants from Poland and the other A8 countries since the referendum on leaving the EU,’ said Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva, acting director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford.

He pointed out that many migrants from the A8 countries are in lower income jobs, and the decline in the value of the pound has made their earnings worth less in comparison to their home currencies.

‘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,’ he added.

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