What Brexodus? ONS Reveals Number of EU Workers in UK Is at a Record High

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20: Protesters and migrant workers hold banners and flags as they demonstrate outside Parliament on February 20, 2017 in London, England. A day of action in support of migrant workers and EU citizens is held today to highlight their contribution to the UK economy and to …
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New Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show 3.59 million foreign workers are employed in the UK, including 2.38 million EU migrants — whose numbers have continued rising since the Brexit vote.

Senior ONS statistician Matt Hughes noted: “The number of non-UK nationals in work is still rising, albeit more slowly than in the last couple of years.”

He further noted that this rise “is being driven by EU citizens”, and that “the number of non-EU nationals working in the UK has fallen in the last year.”

“Today’s figures show that predictions of a Brexodus — an outflow of EU workers — are nonsense,” commented Alp Mehmet, vice-chairman of the Migration Watch UK think tank headed by Lord Green of Deddington, which campaigns for balanced migration.

“In fact, there has been an increase of nearly 50,000 in the last year. Part of this is a net inflow of about 80,000 Romanians and Bulgarians who mainly go into low paid work,” he added.

“It would be absurd to suggest that this continuing inflow is vital to our economy. As for EU8 workers, their numbers are higher than before last year’s referendum.”

Some 347,000 Romanians and Bulgarians, who gained the right to migrate to Britain effectively unvetted and in unlimited numbers in 2014 thanks to the European Union, are now working in the country — an increase of 90,000 on last year.

This damages the credibility of lobbyists for big business and employers who have heavily indulged in low-wage migrant labour under the Free Movement regime, who have warned of a so-called migrant “Brexodus” crippling the economy.

While the reduction in the size of the inflow has required them to offer higher starting salaries to new employees — a good thing from the point of view of workers — the numbers are still clearly going up overall.

There is some question over whether or not the Tory Party — assuming Brexit is actually delivered and that they are still in office when it happens — really intends to bring down immigration once it is empowered to do so.

Prior to the June 2017 snap election, former Prime Minister David Cameron’s lieutenant-in-chief, George Osborne, boasted that the party never intended to keep its longstanding, unfulfilled pledge to bring net immigration down from “the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands”.

“[N]one of [the Cabinet’s] senior members support the pledge in private and all would be glad to see the back of something that has caused the Conservative Party such public grief,” he bragged.

“Over the past seven years, the Government has not [reduced] significantly the numbers of non-Europeans coming here — though we could [have].”

Theresa May’s government has just announced it intends to double the number of “exceptional talent” visas it hands out every year, targeting foreign nationals in art, tech, and the ‘creative industries’.

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