High-skilled talent “ebbing away” following Brexit

09 February 2018

Migration figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) indicate a growing brain drain of skilled workers leaving the UK to look for opportunities elsewhere in the EU, warns a specialist law firm.

At the end of last November, ONS statistics showed another drop in net migration to 230,000 with EU net migration being the lowest since June 2013 (down 54,000 from the previous year) while EU emigration increased by 28,000 to 123,000.

After speaking to several companies, business immigration specialist Laura Devine Solicitors reckons this increase in emigration is largely due to EU nationals “losing confidence” in the UK as a destination to build their futures in, and leaving in growing numbers or choosing not to relocate to the UK as a result.

It adds that announcements like those recently highlighting the relocation of major European agencies moving to Paris and Amsterdam are certain to fuel the trend.

Sophie Barrett-Brown, head of UK immigration at Laura Devine Solicitors, says: “Since the Brexit referendum there has been no change in EU free movement law and no material changes to the UK immigration rules driving this reduction.

So the fact that fewer skilled people are coming to the UK and more are leaving is not due to greater control of migration, rather it reflects the personal choice of migrants. The numbers are falling because the UK is seen as a less desirable place to do business, to live and work.”