More than 200,000 citizens of European Union countries left the UK in 2020, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Statistics like this show that the number of EU citizens living in the UK saw a significant decrease last year compared to 2019 figures, TheSchengen.com reports.
The same source revealed that, within a year, the number of EU citizens in Britain decreased from 3.7 million registered in 2019 to 3.5 million in 2020.
According to experts, these numbers were mainly the result of Brexit and the coronavirus situation.
“Immigration decisions are complex, and a person’s decision to move to or from the UK will always be influenced by a range of factors, including social and economic reasons,” a spokesperson for the National Statistics Office said of the PA news agency.
The spokesperson also stressed that it is possible that the COVID-19 situation, along with other elements, such as the UK’s exit from the European Union, may have caused a decrease in the number of EU citizens living in the UK in 2020.
According to statistics provided by the Office for National Statistics, a total of 100,000 people immigrated from Britain within three months, for a period between March and June of last year, when the UK authorities imposed the first closure in order to stop the spread of the Corona virus. These numbers represent a significant increase compared to the same period in 2018 and 2019 while authorities in the UK revealed that more than three-quarters of them are citizens of EU countries.
It is estimated that around 67 million people live in the UK, according to an Evening Standard report. Polish continues to have the most common non-British citizenship with over 738,000 residents, followed by Romanian 384,000, as well as Irish, Indian and Italian.
During the time when the United Kingdom was officially part of the European Union, citizens of the European Union and European Economic Area countries as well as Britons were eligible to enjoy many benefits, including entering each other’s territory by presenting an identity card as valid proof of entry. However, authorities in the UK recently announced that these means of access, among other changes after Brexit, will not be effective from 1 October.
According to the authorities in Britain, travelers from the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland will be required from October 1 to present a passport when entering Britain.