NET migration to Britain saw its biggest fall on record in the year after the Brexit vote, government figures show.
It declined by more than 100,000 — and three-quarters of the drop was down to citizens from EU nations quitting the UK or opting not to move here.
The total figure — calculated by counting the difference between the numbers coming to live in or leaving Britain for at least a year — was an estimated 230,000 in the 12 months to the end of June.
That is down 106,000 compared with the 336,000 seen the previous year, said the Office for National Statistics.
Net EU migration accounted for 82,000 of the drop and now stands at 107,000. Net migration from outside the EU was estimated at 173,000.
Nicola White, head of migration statistics at the ONS, said: ‘The number of people immigrating for a definite job has remained stable. But there has been a 43 per cent decrease in the number of people immigrating to look for work over the last year, especially for EU citizens. These changes suggest that Brexit is likely to be a factor in people’s decision to move to or from the UK.’
While the number of EU citizens coming to the UK fell by 54,000 to 230,000, an even bigger number decided to quit Britain. Some 123,000 left, up by nearly a third on the year before.
In total, 572,000 people arrived in the UK and 342,000 left over the year.
The rise in the rate of Europeans going home was similar among nationals from founding EU countries including France and newer members such as Romania.
■ THE number of EU nationals seeking British citizenship has more than doubled since the Brexit vote. The Home Office said the figure climbed to 32,856 in the 12 months to September, up from 15,766 — an increase of more than 108 per cent. People seeking citizenship are generally required to have lived in the country for at least five years. Requests lodged by non-EU nationals fell by 17 per cent to 104,430.