UK Prime Minister David Cameron has strongly hinted that he may move to restrict the immigration of Greeks and other citizens of euro zone countries affected by Europe’s sovereign debt crisis in the event of “extraordinary stresses and strains”.
“The legal position is that if there are extraordinary stresses and strains it is possible to take action to restrict migratory flows, but obviously we hope that doesn’t happen,” he told a Parliamentary Committee this week.
“I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to keep our country safe, to keep our banking system strong, to keep our economy robust,” he added.
European Union rules allow the free flow of people to live and work around the group’s 27 member states, apart from Bulgaria and Romania, but fears have mounted in Britain of a wave of migrants from struggling states such as Greece and Spain if their economies continue to worsen.
Cameron said greater European banking integration – a likely response by the euro zone’s 17 member states to the crisis – would not necessarily mean big changes for Britain if the right safeguards were in place.
Many in Britain worry that a powerful euro zone banking bloc could change financial rules that impact London, Europe’s biggest financial centre and on which Britain relies for a large chunk of its revenues.
Cameron wants safeguards that a euro zone banking union would not use its clout to bounce Britain into decisions it does not agree with.
“If the 17 countries of the euro zone bring about a banking union for themselves, which I think frankly they need to do …. and if we can get proper safeguards in place then that wouldn’t be a fundamental change for us,” Cameron said.
The news will come as a hammer blow to citizens of the two countries, Bulgaria and Romania, which do not yet have full free movement rights to work everywhere in Europe, despite being members of the European Union since 2007.
UK work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals were extended until the end of 2013 by the British government last November. But some are worried that these restrictions may be extended in the wake of the euro crisis.
Hundreds of thousands of Romanians and Bulgarians are thought to have moved to the UK to study or work on a ‘self employed’ basis.
Should the UK Border Agency change the Rules to curb immigration from EU countries those who have already applied for Yellow Card or Blue Card registration are unlikely to be affected once their BR1 application has been submitted.
If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an Appeal against a refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email:
Majestic College offer special packages for Bulgarian, Romanian or EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.
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