As predicted, the UK government will impose restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals wishing to work in Britain after they become EU members in January 2007.
The proposals will be reviewed within 12 months, taking into account of the needs of the country’s labour market, Home Office minister Liam Byrne said.
Food processing and agriculture are the only sectors initially open to ‘less skilled’ nationals. The minister said progress had to be made on the government’s immigration reforms before the controls are lifted at all. He added that the transitional impacts of the last round of accession, when Poland and seven other eastern European states joined the EU, still needed to be understood.
‘Through this measured response to accession we will ensure that migration is, and continues to be, managed in the best interests of the country as a whole,’ he said.
The Home Office added: ‘These new arrangements will be reviewed within 12 months and the Government’s proposed new Migration Advisory committe will assist in this process taking account of the needs of our labour market, the impact of the A8 accession and the positions adopted by other EU countries.’
The news came shortly after the Home Office announced the closure of the Food Manufactiring (General) quota of the doomed Sector Based Scheme. The combination of these two announcements effectively marks the beginning of the end for low skilled migration from outside the EU.
Low skilled, agricultural and food manufacturing jobs are expected to be filled by workers for Eastern Europe.