A Tory MP claims that thousands of Moldovans are able to enter Britain as EEA Nationals through a legal loophole when immigration or work restrictions on Romania are lifted next year.
Speaking in Parliament this week, Philip Hollobone, MP for Kettering, raised concerns that too many people from Moldova, which he described as a “centre for human trafficking”, will be able to enter the UK by the backdoor from next year.
In a Commons debate, the Member of Parliament warned that thousands of Moldovans are using ancestral rights to claim Romanian citizenship opening the doors to the EU.
This will give them the right to settle anywhere in the European Union once restrictions on new members Bulgaria and Romania are lifted next year. Large numbers Moldovans have Romanian grandparents, making them eligible for dual citizenship.
“Moldova is not in the European Union and it is a centre for human trafficking,” she said. “It is right next door to Romania and hundreds of thousands of Moldovans through grand-parental rights are now applying and getting Romanian passports with the intent of immigrating to the UK.”
Ministers are already bracing themselves against the potential influx of Bulgarians and Romanians expected to place further pressure on public services such as GP surgeries and schools.
It was revealed this week that the last Labour government estimated just 13,000 will move to Britain, almost the same figure predicted would come from Poland after it joined the EU, when half a million eventually arrived. Source: Daily Telegraph.
Of course Moldovans who legally obtain a Romanian passport could travel to the UK, for instance to study and work, right now, in the same way that migrants from Brazil come to the UK via ancestral links with Portugal.
Under the current 7 year transitional work restrictions due to end in 2014, only highly skilled, skilled workers on work permits, students on yellow cards, Au Pairs and certain seasonal agricultural workers can work legally on an employed basis in the UK.
The EU migrants can stay for up to three months before exercising their treaty rights.
Following a new question on the BR1 form, Romanians and Bulgarians who have stayed for over three months while, for example working in a restaurant on a ‘self employed’ basis or for ‘cash’, could be asked to explain what they have been doing and how they have lived in the UK since they arrived.
When Croatia joins the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013, similar transitional arrangements will be introduced to restrict Croatian nationals’ from full access to the UK labour market.
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