Live News: Net migration to UK from EU ended last year amid Brexit changes, ONS says

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UK net migration from EU countries was stable last year, while 251,000 more non-EU nationals entered the country than those who emigrated, according to official statistics which suggest an impact important on the flow of Brexit people.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed net migration was estimated at 239,000 for the year ending June 2021, down slightly from 260,000 in the year ending June 2020.

However, it also showed that net migration from the EU was estimated to be close to zero. On the other hand, net migration outside the EU remained positive at 251,000, with 81,000 non-EU nationals emigrating against 332,000 immigrants. This reinforces the trend observed in the year up to June 2020, when net migration was also driven by third-country nationals.

Jay Lindop, director of the ONS Center for International Migration, said these were the first estimates to cover the 12 months to June 2021. This was a period when migration was affected by restrictions imposed to manage the coronavirus pandemic as well as policy changes. after Brexit, he said.

The ONS warned that the statistics were experimental and produced using a different method to those previously published, due to data collection challenges posed by the pandemic. Data was previously collected through face-to-face interviews at ports and airports, which had to stop.

The figures confirm the view that Brexit leads to a drop in net migration. As such, it contributes to labor shortages and the historically tight UK jobs market, with the lowest unemployment rate for almost 50 years.

Separate data also released by the ONS on Thursday showed online job vacancies were 42% higher than pre-pandemic levels after rising another 7% in the week ending May 20 .

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