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Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants the UK ‘cannot afford’ Euro MP claims | Immigration Matters

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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.

Romanian and Bulgarian Students taking vocational or sandwich courses, such as NVQ in Health and Social Care, are allowed to work full time, as stated on their Yellow Registration Cards.

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. 

Related immigration articles:

MP warns that Bulgarians and Romanians will flood Britain

Free Movement of EU nationals explained

UK Government wants curbs on EU migration

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

Is the EU’s ‘Free Movement’ dream over?

European Commission warning to UK on Free Movement rights and Comprehensive Sickness Insurance remains unanswered

New Government funded courses available for Bulgarian and Romanian EU students

Employment restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians extended until end of 2013

Yellow or Blue Card Refused – Appeal or Reapply?

How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their status in the UK

Bulgarians and Romanians to gain free movement rights to live and work in the UK by the end of 2013

Romanian Family wins UK Immigration Appeal against Yellow Card and Blue Card Refusal

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 UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: or visit for free immigration news updates.

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.

For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email:

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10 Responses to “Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants the UK ‘cannot afford’ Euro MP claims”
Read them below or add one

  1. Can anyone help me with an E-mail address to contact UKBA. I have applied last year in february and no answer so far. It is worrying as I have checked their website and now they are working on the cases sent in July 2012. I have contacted them on the addresses posted on their website but nothing. Many thanks.

  2. […] EU expansion has brought about the fastest demographic change in history, with well over a million migrants from Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. […]

  3. They might prefer the weather in Spain or Italy (so do I), but not the unemployment! Many Romanians are transferring from other EU countries to find work in the UK.

  4. The article was reporting on an MP’s comments about Romanians and Bulgarians who are expected to come to the UK and will be eligible for benefits, not Polish or any other citizens who claim child benefit.

  5. Mr Kelly , can you tell me how the Romanians will take advantage of child benefit regarding that only this year 23.000 polish newborns in UK take this child benefit and you don`t tell nothing about this? Fair huh?

  6. Essex Kitten says :

    Hold on… Romanians need work rights in order to come to the UK and commit crimes? Since when? The borders are already open – since 1 January 2007. They can come to the UK, live in the UK, just not work in the UK without jumping through flaming hoops. If anything, that combination should produce more crime than with the restrictions lifted. If you want to commit crime RIGHT NOW, there’s nothing stopping you. You don’t register with the Home Office nor the HMRC to do so. You can even be cheeky and declare yourself self-sufficient.

    Romanians prefer Spain and Italy to the UK. It’s a lot warmer there, and the languages are easy to learn because of their Latin origin, which the Romanian language shares.

    Expect a lot of highly qualified Romanians if anything, people who would have come if it were not for the 6-8 months waiting for the Home Office to process the documentation – with the random luck option of calling the Home Office and hoping they’ll speed up the decision. And hope they choose the UK over Germany.

    Can’t comment on the Bulgarians, but their sea-side tourism is supposed to be a lot better than Romanian tourism, with lots Romanians crossing the border rather than staying home for their summer holidays 😀

    Disclosure: I am Romanian, self-employed in the UK, registered with the HMRC, paying taxes, claiming no benefits. That must be one of those crimes this UKIP MEP is talking about. Right?

  7. ArtOfWar says :

    Well sir, you wrote the article, I would have thought that you might research this matter further and see exactly what they get and how before calling them benefit hunters. Furthermore, 30% out of 2250 street vendors is not much when considering the population of the UK. The kind of Romanians your country is trying to stop flocking over is the kind that will come over anyway just to get deported again and again from all over the EU. The population of Romania is 19 million, out of which 14 million are children, old people and some other disadvantaged groups and about 5 million work and pay taxes. Bulgaria, has about 8 million people in total and 17 million + 8 million does not equal the 30 million potential immigrants on mr. Bloom’s figures. Now, I would go so far as to call this trend of increasing xenofobia unjustified.

  8. You should ask the MP and MEP, but I expect they could say: Housing Benefit, Child Benefit Unemployment Benefit, who knows?

  9. ArtOfWar says :

    Mr. CHARLES KELLY, please name some of the benefits that Romanians and Bulgarians are claiming.

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