The UK is still a member of the EU. Freedom of movement is still as it was. But something has changed forever.
This change could have huge ramifications on future generations and the UK economy for years to come.
The latest ONS figures show that the number of EU citizens coming to the UK (220,000) decreased by 47,000 over the last year and is now at a level comparable with 2014. Meanwhile the number leaving the UK (130,000) is the highest recorded level since 2008.
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The aim for any country should be to make it the most attractive place in the world to live. But Brexit has made the UK a less attractive place to live for EU citizens at least. Figures don’t lie.
Forget the fake promise of millions of pounds extra for the NHS and the UK increasing its trading with the rest of the world, we all know why some people voted to leave the EU in the referendum. Some people don’t like foreigners and are being told that these foreigners are taking their jobs and hospital beds. This is not all people as I know many don’t feel this way and actually want the UK to remain open. But politicians are appealing to those that don’t so they can do as they wish.
In fact “these people coming over here” are providing tax revenue, innovation, skills…..the list goes on
Tech firms are already reporting staffing problems caused by Brexit. Research of 5,400 tech founders, carried out by Tech London Advocates (TLA), revealed that 55% said Brexit and how it affects the search for talent is the biggest threat to startups and scale-up companies in London.
So the UK is already seen as less attractive to people in other countries. This is probably the worst news possible. It can go rapidly downhill from there. Fewer and fewer people and businesses come to the UK, while more attractive places get more people and become even more attractive.
Maybe I am biased being married to an Italian. But I see at firsthand how someone that has lived and worked in London for 18 years and raised a couple of children as well, suddenly feels she chose the wrong country to move to. It was between London and a German city back in 2000 and she chose London. Her decision would be different now.
And she is not alone it seems.
So those who voted for the UK to leave the EU to reduce immigration should be happy. Well probably not because the ONS figures show immigration from outside the EU has increased and the total figure has increased.