Blog: Brexit caused major shift in UK immigration patterns – report –

Brexit has resulted in the biggest shift in British immigration patterns in over 50 years according to a new study.

The report found that non-EU and higher-paid migrants are more than making up for the loss of low-paid EU workers.

A report published by UK In A Changing Europe (UKICE) and The Migratory Observatory called ‘Immigration After Brexit’ said that the numbers of new migrants from outside the EU had defied predictions.

A rise in international students along with the biggest movement of refugees to the UK since World War Two had fuelled record immigration levels amounting to around half a million people last year.

This led the Office for Budget Responsibility to reverse its forecast for an economic hit due to reduced migration.

Senior Fellow at UKICE Jonathan Portes also said that the Brexit immigration plan to replace low-wage, low-skill immigration with high-wage, high-skill migrants “had worked”.

The new visa system introduced after Brexit had made it easier for non-EU workers to come to Britain while the end of free movement made it more difficult for EU citizens.

Early analysis pointed to staff shortages in accommodation, administration and retail as well as hospitality and transport.

However, the health and social care sector has seen an increase in recruitment from outside the EU.

And a decision to extend eligibility to low-paid jobs in the sector resulted in 56,900 visas for care workers last year.

The rise in immigration numbers has been accompanied by a more positive public attitude towards immigration generally the report found.

Polls last year found that 46% of people believe migration is a force for good with 29% disagreeing. The balance was negative before the Brexit referendum.

However, there is public concern about illegal immigration.

The report states that the new laws to detain and deport those arriving by small boats would suggest the UK intends to withdraw from the global asylum system which is based on the 1951 Refugee Convention and was designed to hear claims from those who arrive irregularly.

Director of the Migration Observatory Melinda Sumption said the “big silence” is where those being deported will be sent.

The UK does not have many return agreements with other countries and the one with Rwanda would only accommodate 200 at a time.

Also, there were 18,000 asylum seekers declared inadmissible under laws introduced last year but only 21 were removed.

Ms Sumption said asylum seekers deemed inadmissible could now end up in permanent limbo which, she said, does not seem particularly sustainable.

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