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To EU or not to EU: A rise in immigration, but not from where you expect

The 2017 immigration statistics released with little fanfare by the Home Office last week make for interesting reading. The headline: net migration is higher now than at any time in the last five years. Despite Brexit and the government’s “Hostile Environment Policy”, the number of people entering the UK to live has increased.

Total net migration into the UK in 2017 was 282,000, according to the Office for National Statistics. A significant rise over the 249,000 figure for the previous year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the rise has come as a result of an increase in immigration from outside the European Union.

Net migration from the EU into the UK fell from 133,000 in 2016 to 101,000 in 2017, a percentage decrease of nearly 25%. However, from the rest of the world, the number of people entering the UK to live increased from 175,000 in 2016 to 277,000 in 2017; a 58% increase which far eclipses the reduction in EU-UK migration over the same period.

The figures show that the government is a very long way from meeting its stated “objective” to cut net immigration to the tens of thousands. It also raises questions about how realistic – or otherwise – this goal is.

Given that immigration rules are in place already for non-EU nationals, it is difficult to see what more the government could do in its attempts to stop immigration. Even if the same rules are applied to current EU nationals post-Brexit, it seems illogical to think that this will result in an overall fall in migration.

At a time when the Home Office is constantly in the headlines for its controversial efforts to reduce immigration, and when the rules and laws surrounding UK immigration seem to change almost monthly, it’s important to seek advice from a specialist immigration lawyer if you’re seeking to enter the UK.

Our barristers are specialists in this complex area of law and legislation and will be happy to provide you with expert advice and assistance for your particular situation. Given the strict deadlines of immigration cases, it is important to seek advice as soon as possible.


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