UK migration 'close to record high' before Brexit vote

New figures show immigration to Britain dipped ahead of EU referendum but remained far above government targets

UK migration 'close to record high' before Brexit vote

World Bulletin / News Desk

Migration to the U.K. fell slightly but remained close to record levels in the 12 months before the country’s EU membership referendum campaign, official figures released Thursday have revealed.

The headline net migration figure – which measures the difference between the number of people arriving in Britain and leaving it – was at 327,000 in the 12 months to March 2016.

Britain’s governing Conservatives have promised since 2010 to reduce net migration to below 100,000.

Thursday’s figures, which do not cover the period before the June 23 referendum, showed migration from EU member states constituted the majority of migrants to the country.

Immigration was a key issue during the referendum campaign, which resulted in a vote to leave by a narrow 52-48 percent margin.

Many commentators said the argument that leaving the EU would reduce immigrant numbers was instrumental in securing the final result.

"Net migration remains at record levels although the recent trend is broadly flat,” said Nicola White, the head of International Migration Statistics at the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics.

“The influx of Romanians and Bulgarians has also reached a new high, although that's off-set by falls in non-EU immigration and from other central and eastern European countries.

“Work remains the main reason for migration, followed by study which has seen a significant fall in the number of people coming to the U.K. for education,” she added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Ağustos 2016, 15:17