The quarterly report released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 23 August 2018 shows that net migration is now at 270,000. The figures have stabilised since the peaks seen in 2015 and 2016.
There has been a reduction in the number of EU citizens coming to the UK, with overall levels now comparable to those seen in 2012. In particular there were fewer western European nationals coming to work here. However, there were still around 90,000 more EU citizens arriving in the UK than leaving.
The quality of the data relied upon for the report continues to be questioned, with the ONS itself acknowledging that there have previously been anomalies in the estimates received from the International Passenger Survey regarding students. The problems with measuring net migration may provide further ammunition for those arguing that the government should drop its target of reducing net migration ‘from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands’.