BRITAIN’S hard Brexit could be scaring people away from the UK, the latest net migration figures suggest.

The statistics, released yesterday, show the UK registered it’s biggest fall in net migration since records began in 1964.

The measure — the difference between the numbers arriving and leaving the country for at least a year — was estimated at 230,000 in the 12 months to the end of June 2017.

This was a drop of 106,000, or around a third, compared with 336,000 in July 2015 to June 2016.

More than three-quarters of the drop was from EU citizens.

Nicola White, head of migration statistics at the Office for National Statistics, said: “Overall more people are still coming to live in the UK than are leaving and therefore net migration is adding to the UK population.”

White added: “The number of people immigrating for a definite job has remained stable but there has been a 43 per cent decrease in the number of people immigrating to look for work over the last year, especially for EU citizens. These changes suggest that Brexit is likely to be a factor in people’s decision to move to or from the UK — but decisions to migrate are complex and other factors are also going to be influencing the figures.”

Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, said: “The data don’t tell us this for certain, but the referendum has certainly created a set of circumstances — such as a fall in the value of the pound, and increased uncertainty about future status - that could make the UK less attractive.”

The ONS report revealed a large fall, of 54,000 to 230,000, in immigration of EU citizens.

At the same time, the number of EU migrants departing the country went up by more than a quarter to 123,000 — the highest level of emigration since 2008.

The weak pound will also have had an impact.

Before Brexit a Polish worker would get six zloty for every pound earned, but that’s fallen by a quarter in the last year.

Stuart McDonald, the SNP’s immigration spokesman, said the figures were worrying for Scotland.

“The UK has yet to leave the EU and already we are witnessing the disastrous impact Brexit is having on the UK, as people from across the world are increasingly being driven away,” the MP said.

“Contrary to the consistent ramped up hostile Tory rhetoric towards immigration and the UK Government’s desire to meet nonsensical targets, there is strong evidence that our migrant workforce make positive contributions to our economy and local communities.

“The Tory government’s blinkered approach to immigration, and the many benefits that it brings, is exactly why immigration powers should be fully devolved to Scotland, so that the Scottish Government is in a position to develop policies that meet our unique economic and demographic needs.

“Many of our public services and industries — that are key to Scotland’s future economic growth — are reliant on migrant workers, including the NHS.”

The figure is still short of the Tory net migration target of 100,000.