Godfrey Bloom, an MEP (Member of the European Parliament) who represents UKIP in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, has claims that there will be a “tidal flood” of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania when UK work restrictions are lifted in 2014.
The MEP predicts that there will be “an unprecedented crime wave” in Britain if we do not stop Romanian and Bulgarian citizens having open door access to British borders. His party, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), wants the UK to leave the European Union and restrict immigration.
Mr Bloom said:
“Britain will be unable to stop the tidal flood of new immigrants because the government’s hands are tied and it cannot stop restrictions being lifted without tearing up the treaty signed with Bulgaria and Romania when they joined the EU in 2007.
”The government is frightened to predict how many Bulgarians and Romanians will move here because the previous administration grossly underestimated the numbers in 2004.
“It predicted fewer than 20,000 eastern Europeans would arrive but Office for National Statistics figures show more than 600,000 were working in Britain last year.
“Already, statistics have shown that Romania’s population has fallen by more than 12 per cent since 2002 as hundreds of thousands leave the poverty-stricken nation for richer countries such as Britain.”
Romanian population falls by 3,000,000 in 10 years
Recent census figures reveal that a combination of Romanian emigration and a low birth rate have reduced the population to 19 million, a drop of almost three million in ten years.
It is estimated that a million Romanians are working abroad due to high unemployment rates and a recession hit economy at home. But other estimates put the number of expatriate workers as high as three million.
The UK has no exact figure for the number of Romanians here. As EU citizens, they can freely come and go and there is still no proper system for counting migrants in and out of the country.
Mr Blooms said Romania is now a country where only about five million employees pay taxes and most of the rest are pensioners, children, subsistence farmers or people working illegally, which is unsustainable.
A recent investigation revealed that large numbers of Romanians are working in the UK as ‘Big Issue’ street vendors who are also claiming benefits. According to the magazine, almost one in three Big Issue sellers – out of a nationwide force of 2,250 registered vendors – were found to Romanian.
Mr Bloom claimed that 90 per cent of cash point fraud is committed by Romanian gangs, and said that Romanian pick pocket gangs committed over 180 robberies. He added that organised crime is rife, with gangs being brought in by bus.
He went on to give a “disgraceful” example of a crime committed against the elderly earlier this year by two members of a Romanian gang. The gang targeted elderly people to steal their bank cards and were jailed for six years each.
The sentencing judge said they would be deported at the end of their sentences, but Bloom remarked:
“They will be out in three years and then they will appeal that it is against their human rights to be sent home, when we will be stuck with them or face years of legal challenges with only the lawyers benefiting.”
Turning to Bulgaria, Bloom said the “Bulgarian administration is corrupt to the core”, and was funded by the European Union as it has the lowest average income in the EU.
Poland has a gross domestic product per capita of $13,000 almost double that of Bulgaria’s GDP of $7,300.
He warns that if just five percent of Bulgaria and Romania’s 30 million inhabitants migrate here to the UK, a potential new labour market of 1.5 million people will be chasing British jobs or seeking benefits.
“When we have one million youth unemployed rate and a general unemployment rate of 8.4 per cent, that is 1.5 million potential job and benefit seekers.
“We cannot afford the benefits, we cannot afford more British joblessness, we cannot afford the extra housing and strain on our infrastructure and we cannot afford a crime explosion.
“The Home Secretary Theresa May needs to address this situation urgently, to tear up the treaty signed by Labour to protect our borders and citizens.” He added.
The MEP predictably focuses on the negatives of immigration, as his party are looking to take enough votes from the Conservatives and Labour parties to put them into the mainstream of British politics.
Of course, what Mr Bloom does not talk about is the hundreds of thousands of honest hardworking Bulgarian and Romanian migrants who are doing jobs which, frankly, British people do not want to do.
Earlier this week, Conservative MP Philip Hollobone warned that the number of migrants from the latest EU members already in the UK could rocket from 155,000 to 425,000 within two years.
The MP for Kettering, said: “What we are going to see is swathes of our countryside built over to accommodate the millions of new arrivals from the European Union, over which we seemingly have little control.”
Bulgarian and Romanian EU citizens will have full freedom of movement to work in the UK when the 7 year restrictions end on December 31 next year.
Although they have been members of the European Union since 2007, Bulgarians and Romanians do not enjoy full freedom of movement rights to work as the earlier A8 Eastern European EU accession countries such as Poland and Latvia.
Employers do not realise that they cannot employ a Romanian or Bulgarian worker in the same way they can a Polish or other A8 accession country citizen.
Romanians and Bulgarians currently need permission to work in the UK.
An NI number does not mean a person has the right to work in the UK and is not a ‘statutory defence’ for an employer facing charges or a £10,000 fine for illegal employment.
The UK Border Agency fined a restaurant owner £50,000 this week for employing 5 illegal workers.
“Employers can’t get enough Romanian or Bulgarian workers”, Cynthia Barker of Bison Management
Romanians and Bulgarians can register as self employed and start businesses in the UK, or work and study on a Yellow Card Visa.
Cynthia Barker of immigration advisers Bison Management has dealt with a large number of Romanian and Bulgarian clients, most of whom have obtained yellow cards to study and work in the UK.
Cynthia points out that employers are happy to take the smart, hard working Bulgarian and Romanian vocational students. She said:
“Employers can’t get enough Romanian or Bulgarian workers to fill vacancies in customer service related jobs, such as restaurant or hotel work, and care work.
“One Bulgarian student who consulted me for help on the BR1 form for applying for a yellow card walked out of my office and got a job offer within ten minutes with a local convenience store in the high street.
“Many others are working in care homes and restaurants in the area and are well liked and respected.”
After 12 months of work on a yellow card, a Bulgarian or Romanian citizen can apply for a ‘blue’ registration card, which gives unrestricted access to the labour market in the UK.
Family members joining a yellow card holder can apply for a dependant blue card.
Romanians and Bulgarians can also apply for permission to work in the UK for specific employers through ‘Accession Worker Cards’, ‘Purple’ cards, Au Pair permits or skilled worker work permits.
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Majestic College offer special packages for 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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