As the United Kingdom readies to leave the European Union partly due to mass immigration concerns, net immigration to the country from non-EU states has reached its highest level since 2014, official statistics showed.
British public broadcaster BBC reports that the country’s Office for National Statistics stated on Thursday, February 28, figures show 261,000 more non-EU citizens came to the UK than left in the year ending September 2018, which is the highest number in 15 years.
Meanwhile, net migration from EU countries has continued to drop to a level last seen in 2009.
British immigration minister Caroline Nokes commented: «As we leave the EU, our new immigration system will give us full control over who comes here for the first time in decades, while enabling employers to have access to the skills they need from around the world.»
Additional figures released by the Home Office show the number of EU nationals applying for British citizenship hit an all-time high last year, rising by 23% to about 48,000.
The data are the last prior UK’s planned withdrawal from the EU in March.