The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics came out today showing the number of people arriving in the UK was the same as the population of Nottingham, before the referendum.
Net long-term migration to the UK has remained around record levels at a third of a million as the inflow of EU citizens hit a historic high, the official figures show.
The headline measure – the overall difference between the numbers arriving and leaving the country – was estimated at 335,000 in the year to June.
This was just below the previous peak of 336,000 in the previous year.
Immigration, which covers the numbers of people coming into Britain only, was at 650,000 – the highest estimate recorded, the Office for National Statistics said.
An unprecedented 284,000 EU citizens are estimated to have arrived in the UK in the year to June, which covers a period up to and just after the referendum, while net migration from the bloc, which excludes UK citizens who went to other EU states, was at 189,000.
Despite complaints and assertions from the Remain side of the Britain/EU argument, ONS statisticians said it is “too early” to say whether the vote has effected immigration long-term.
Nicola White, head of international migration statistics at the ONS, said: “Net migration remains around record levels, but it is stable compared with recent years. Immigration levels are now among the highest estimates recorded – the inflow of EU citizens is also at historically high levels and similar to the inflow of non-EU citizens; there were also increases in the number of asylum seekers and refugees.
“Immigration of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens continues the upward trend seen over the last few years and in 2015 Romania was the most common country of previous residence.
“The main reason people are coming to the UK is for work, and there has been a significant increase in people looking for work, particularly from the EU.
“These long-term international migration figures run to the end of June, so it is too early to say what effect, if any, the EU referendum has had on long-term international migration.
“There does not however appear to have been any significant impact during the run-up to the vote.”
The Tory Government had pledged to slash net migration to below 100,000 but the figures show they face a mammoth task.
But the Government has claimed it is committed to sticking to the promise.
Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said: “The British people have sent a very clear message that they want more control of immigration and we are committed to getting net migration down to sustainable levels in the tens of thousands.
“There is no consent for uncontrolled immigration, which puts pressure on schools, hospitals and public services. That is why reducing the number of migrants coming to the UK will be a key priority of our negotiations to leave the EU.
“Further to this, we continue to reform non-EU immigration routes to ensure we attract the best and brightest, who benefit and contribute to this country. But there is more to do as we build an immigration system that delivers the control we need.”
It was also revealed that in 2015 Romania was the most common country of last residence for the first time, making up 10% of all immigrants.
The government’s contribution to helping Syrian families caught in the refugee crisis was also revealed.
The statistics show 4,162 people were granted humanitarian protection under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme between September 2015 and the same month in 2016.
Up four thousand on the previous year.
More to follow…