More than 1.5 million people have now applied to remain in the UK after Brexit under the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme, the Home Office has said.

Official figures released on Thursday showed 299,000 nationals and their family members from the EU, the European Economic Area and Switzerland submitted applications during August.

It took the total submitted by the end of last month to 1,339,600.

However, the Home Office said its internal figures showed the total had since risen to more than 1.5 million.

Home Office Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We’ve been crystal clear – EU citizens are our friends and neighbours, and we want them to stay in the UK. I am delighted that over 1.5 million people have already applied.”

According to the official figures, 199,300 applications were concluded during August, with 57% being granted settled status and 43% pre-settled status for those who have less than five years’ continuous residence in the UK.

Just one application was refused on “suitability grounds” during the course of the month.

The figures mean that the total number of concluded applications has reached 1,151,000, with 62% having been awarded settled status and 37% pre-settled status.

The nationalities with the highest numbers of applications have been Poland with 240,300, followed by Romania with 187,600 and Italy with 150,800.

The majority of applications have come from England with 1,228,300, with 67,800 from Scotland, 20,600 from Wales and 19,100 from Northern Ireland.