Net migration to the UK in 2015 rose by 20,000 to 333,000, the second highest figure on record, according to figures by from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Within these figures, net migration from within the European Union (EU) was 184,000, a record number.

The net migration figure is more than triple the 100,000 target the government had claimed they would reach during this parliament.

The statistics have come at a sensitive time with the EU referendum four weeks away.

Leave campaigner Boris Johnson seized on the figures and called the level of immigration into the UK “a scandal” that was “out of control” and said the only way to reign in the numbers would be to leave the EU.

However, Remain campaigners dismissed Johnson’s claims, with Home Office minister James Brokenshire saying that “leaving the EU is absolutely no panacea or silver bullet” and warned that leaving the union could harm jobs and “wreck the economy”.

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