Annual immigration into the UK to fall 100,000

Brexit is set to reduce annual immigration into the UK by 100,000 even if talks with the European Union result in a smooth deal, according to economists from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), the Telegraph reports.

The bank cites strong economic performance in eurozone countries as a counter incentive to emigration to the UK. These attractive conditions are likely to keep would-be immigrants at home whereas they would have once sought work in the UK.

The weak pound has also made jobs in the UK less attractive as migrants’ earnings are worth less in their home currencies, including the Euro. Net immigration is now at 300,000 per year.

The BAML estimates mean that several hundred thousand fewer workers will come to the UK in the next few years. Analysts said that if by 2022, 350,000 fewer people arrive than previously projected, the UK economy could be negatively impacted.

The UK government has previously stated that it aims to limit net migration to the UK at 100,000 people per year. BAML said it would view this potential outcome as a ‘hard Brexit’ if agreed in the EU withdrawal talks.

Despite this goal, the UK economy is currently performing well and unemployment is at its lowest level in 42 years, suggesting a need for immigrant workers.