This graph shows how UK deal numbers fell to a record low in the run-up to the EU referendum

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The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June (Source: Getty)

It’s official: the lead-up to the EU referendum was a dreadful period for UK mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show there were 87 deals involving UK firms during this period worth £14bn. This was down from 190, worth £69bn, in the first quarter of this year.

Read more: Deal or no deal? Companies that are more M&A active perform better

The second quarter total figure included: 47 cases of UK companies acquiring other UK companies for £5.9bn; 20 deals worth £6.3bn in which UK companies were bought for foreign investors; and 16 foreign acquisitions worth £1.7bn by UK companies. The other four recorded were inward disposals worth £0.1bn.

With the acquisitions total (UK-UK, UK-foreign, foreign-UK) adding up to 83, this represents the quietest quarter in terms of number of deals on ONS records going back to 1990. The second lowest total was 85 in the first quarter of 2013.

Read more: More M&A experts think Brexit vote could spark foreign interest in UK firms

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