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  1. ITV Report

Net migration from EU falls to lowest level since 2012

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand

Net migration from the European Union to the UK has fallen to the lowest level in nearly six years.

Official statistics show an estimated 74,000 more EU nationals came to live in the country for at least 12 months than left in the year to June.

The figure is the lowest since the year ending September 2012, when it stood at 65,000.

Non-EU net migration was at its highest since 2004, with 248,000 more non-EU citizens arriving than departing, the Office for National Statistics said.

Overall, net long-term international migration was 273,000.

This is down from record levels of around a third of a million two years ago, but still almost three times the Government's target of less than 100,000.

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The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said the statistics "highlight the continuing trend of falling net EU migrations amid growing shortage across all skills levels in the UK".

"Hospitals, schools and housebuilders are already struggling to get the staff they need," it said. "Banning workers from overseas earning less than £30,000 will only make this worse.

The CBI said the post-Brexit approach to immigration must be "based on evidence rather than politically driven targets".

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said the Government is "committed to controlled and sustainable migration".

She said: "As we leave the EU we will put in place an immigration system which works in the best interests of the whole of the UK and further detail on that will be set out very soon."