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Net migration from EU to Britain hit record high ahead of EU vote

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Net migration from the European Union to Britain hit a record high in the year to June 2016, according to official data for the twelve months before the EU referendum in which concern about rising immigration drove much opposition to the bloc.

[LONDON] Net migration from the European Union to Britain hit a record high in the year to June 2016, according to official data for the twelve months before the EU referendum in which concern about rising immigration drove much opposition to the bloc.

The Office for National Statistics said net migration to Britain from the European Union, those arriving in Britain minus those leaving, hit 189,000, up from 180,000 during the previous year.

Overall net migration to Britain was estimated to be 335,000, just 1,000 short of the record high reached in the same period last year.

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to control immigration, an issue which prompted many Britons to back Brexit, blaming the EU's freedom of movement rules for the increase in new arrivals in recent years.

REUTERS