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Media advisory: The role of the EU in UK net migration

29 Jun 2012

The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford has today published a detailed analysis of the impact of EU freedom of movement on UK net migration and migrant stocks.

In its latest commentary, The EU Shuffle, the Migration Observatory shows:

  • That freedom of movement within the EU is responsible for more than a quarter of overall net migration in the UK – about 68,000 in 2010.
  • That some calculations have down-played the impact of free movement migration within the EU on total net migration in the UK by offsetting it against British citizens emigrating to non-EU countries
  • That the UK has sent 1.4million people to other EU countries – making it the the fifth largest sender of any EU country after Romania (2.2m), Italy (2m), Poland (1.9m) and Germany (1.7m)
  • That the UK has the fourth largest population of EU migrants (2.2million) after Germany (3.76m), Spain (2.6m) and France (2.47m)

Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva, Senior Researcher at the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, said: “Freedom of movement in the EU is currently responsible for more than a quarter of total net migration in the UK – about 68,000 – and, under current EU law, Government cannot use immigration controls to limit this type of migration.

“Our commentary also shows that migration around the EU has created a complex tapestry of EU migrant communities, and that the UK is a major sender of migrants to other parts of the EU, as well as a major receiving country of EU migrants.”

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