Skilled worker shortages loom as EU expats leave the UK

Published:  1 Mar at 6 PM
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Official UK government figures show an increasing number of EU expats are leaving and far fewer are arriving.

New migration statistics are now giving credence to signs of a growing Brexodus as the balance between those arriving and those relocating to their home countries shifts. Office for National Statistics figures still show 90,000 more arrivals from EU member states than departures of EU expats, but this new migration figure was 75,000 lower than in the previous year. According to an ONS spokeswoman, Brexit is expected to be a major factor in decisions to move from or to the UK.
n the 12 months ending in September last year, the number of EU citizens returning to their home countries reached 130,000, the highest total since the 2008 financial crash, and the numbers arriving shrunk to 47,000 out of an immigrant total of around a quarter of a million. Most European incomers already had employment waiting, with only a smaller number actively searching for a job. Figures show the overall employment rate for EU citizens is 81 per cent, as against 75 per cent for Britons and 63 per cent for non- EU immigrants.

According to immigration lawyers, the UK is now seen as a far less attractive place for workers, due mainly to Brexit, making it no surprise that increasing numbers are leaving. The exodus is causing a significant threat to UK businesses as well as the UK’s National Health Service and the farming sector, all of which are struggling to hire much-needed skilled workers. The British government’s plan to cap the number of work visas is another threat, as is the plan to increase the Immigration Health Surcharge by 100 per cent.
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