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  1. ITV Report

Record number of EU migrants arrived in UK in the year to June, official figures show

The number of EU migrants arriving in Britain has hit a record high, official statistics show.

An unprecedented 284,000 EU citizens arrived in Britain in the year to June, the Office of National Statistics.

This was just before the UK voted in the EU referendum.

But experts say it is still too early to assess the impact the Brexit vote has had on long-term migration.

335,000
was the net long-term migration to the UK

Net migration to the UK - the difference between the number of people arriving and leaving - remained at near record levels.

This was just below the previous peak of 336,000 in the previous year.

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 figures provide the latest indication of the scale of the task facing the Government if it is to reach its controversial target of reducing net migration to below 100,000.

Nicola White, head of international migration statistics at the ONS, said although net migration remains around record levels, 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.

"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.

"There does not however appear to have been any significant impact during the run-up to the vote," she added.

Most immigrants came to the UK to work, figures show. Credit: PA

In the year ending in June, 189,000 EU citizens arrived for work - the highest estimate recorded.

Approximately 57%, or 108,000, of those reported having a definite job to go to while around 82,000 EU immigrants arrived looking for work - a record number and a "statistically significant" increase compared to the previous year.

The jump includes a rise in the number of citizens arriving to seek employment from the EU15 group of nations consisting of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain and Sweden.

Statisticians suggested the rise may in part reflect "weaker labour market conditions" in some southern EU states.