Pro-EU campaigners have warned “Brexodus” has hit the UK after new data revealed a record drop in the number of EU workers.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the number of EU nationals employed in the UK decreased by 86,000 in the year following June 2017 – the most dramatic fall since records began in 1997.
It means the number of European nationals in the UK now sits at 2.28 million.
Eloise Todd, CEO for anti-Brexit group Best for Britain, said the figures “should worry everyone”.
“These EU nationals nurse our sick, care for our grandparents and help make Britain a more productive and prosperous country, but the government is pulling up the drawbridge as thousands of EU citizens worry about their future.
“The power to decide our future must be given back to the British people giving them the final say on the Brexit deal, with the option to stay and build on our current deal with the EU firmly on the table.”
ONS data showed that during the same period, the number of workers in the UK from outside of the EU rose by 74,000 to 1.27 million.
Meanwhile, the overall unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in more than 40 years, falling by 65,000 to 1.36 million in the three months to June.
It represents a drop of 124,000 on the previous year and means the unemployment rate is at just 4%.
The Department for Work and Pensions has been contacted by HuffPost UK for comment.