David Cameron on global economy
UK Prime Minister David Cameron Reuters

Prime Minister David Cameron will unveil a set of new measures to curb benefit payments to European Union migrants, after new official figures showed his promise to reduce net migration was "in tatters".

In a speech, to be delivered later on 28 November, Cameron will tell Britons that EU migrants would have to wait at least four years before they are entitled to claim state welfare.

Cameron is expected to insist that curbs to welfare, which includes the dole and council housing, will be an "absolute requirement" to keep support for Britain staying in the EU.

Prime Minister David Cameron promised voters that the Conservative party would hold an in/out referendum in 2017 if Britons voted for the party in the May 2015 general election.

In 2010, the Conservatives' election manifesto said: "We will take steps to take net migration back to the levels of the 1990s - tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands."

However, the latest number is significantly above his stated aim to reduce net migration below 100,000.

The Office for National Statistics data showed that the numbers coming to live in Britain minus those leaving - net migration - rose by 78,000 from the previous year, standing at 260,000.

Critics from the opposition say his is plan is now "in tatters".

Britain's relationship with the EU has become fraught over the last few years over immigration issues, while Cameron is under increasing pressure from the likes of Ukip.