In response to official net migration figures released today, standing at 335,000 in the year to June, Seamus Nevin, Head of Employment and Skills Policy, said:
“Today’s figures are for the period before the EU referendum and, as the result means policy is going to change, likely show the high watermark for immigration.
“With our economy now at full employment, and with record low unemployment, today’s statistics show is how important immigration is to our economy and future prosperity. While it is clear that the public want more control over immigration, it is also crucial to recognise the contribution immigrants make to raising living standards for British people. There are many issues to consider in designing our future immigration policy but it will be vital for Government to strike the right balance.
“The most recent statistics for permanent residence applications were also released today. They show a rise in new applications from EU nationals – revealing that instability facing EU citizens about their right to stay in the UK after we leave the EU. This is a major concern for both employers and their staff, both of whom need certainty to plan for the future.
“The status of UK citizens living in the rest of Europe is not certain at the moment, but the UK Government can provide clarity to EU citizens living here. We call on the PM to do so now to allow British businesses plan for the future and to set our EU negotiations off on a positive footing.”