UK immigration hit new high before Brexit, report says

In the year ending June 2016 when UK's electorate voted for Brexit immigration reached 650,000

UK immigration hit new high before Brexit, report says

World Bulletin / News Desk

U.K. immigration hit a record high in the year up to June, when the country voted to leave the EU, figures released Thursday revealed.

An estimated 650,000 people arrived in the 12 months to June, the Office for National Statistics said. The same period in the previous year saw an estimated 639,000 arrive.

Work remained the most common reason for long-term immigration, the report stated.

The office also said immigration by EU citizens -- at 284,000 -- was also the highest estimate recorded, compared to 265,000 the previous year.

Net migration -- immigration minus emigration -- was 335,000 for the 12-month period.

Thursday’s figures are significant for Britain since its electorate narrowly voted in favor of Brexit, with many Leave voters and campaigners citing immigration as a key concern.

Speaking today in parliament, the U.K. minister responsible for Brexit, David Davis, said EU nationals living in the U.K already had the right to stay because of how long they had been in the country.

“The aim of the government is very clear,” he said. “We wish to guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in the U.K. and at the same time we wish to guarantee the rights of Britons living in Europe.”

Prime Minister Theresa May previously promised to control immigration numbers.

In a 2015 election commitment, the ruling Conservative Party said it would cut immigration to “sustainable levels”, which it described as “down to the tens of thousands”, by 2020.

Last Mod: 01 Aralık 2016, 16:18
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