An influential Labour MP has called for Free movement of labour across Europe to be restricted.
Former welfare minister Frank Field said this would give a “fair wind” to government reforms aimed at encouraging unemployed people back into work.
The restriction, he said, could stay in place while recession in the UK lasts.
But the coalition government dismissed the idea, saying people looking for jobs abroad could be “badly impacted” if it was applied across the EU.
In the Commons, Mr Field, the MP for Birkenhead, argued that recent data on household unemployment showed there was a case for limiting immigration from Europe while the UK is in recession.
He said: “Given the government has just released data showing that those of unemployed households, one in five of their members have never ever, ever had a job, isn’t there a case for while this recession lasts for temporarily restricting the movement generally from Europe so that the government’s welfare reforms get a fair wind?”
However, Immigration Minister Damian Green replied that “closing off” the European labour market would not be “appropriate”.
He said: “Of course it would have to apply both ways presumably, and therefore British workers looking for jobs in the rest of the EU would also be badly impacted by that.”
In 1997, Prime Minister Tony Blair gave Mr Field the task of “thinking the unthinkable” as a welfare reform minister, but he later resigned from government after his radical suggestions were not taken forward. He has been in the sidelines ever since and is not following his own’ party line on immigration.
Following the 2010 general election, he led an independent review into UK poverty for the coalition government. Source: BBC.
Although unlikely to be implemented, Mr Field’s ideas will alarm some European citizens who are yet to receive the benefits of full free movement of labour within the EU.
Even though they been members of the European Union since 2007, when it comes to employment Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not have the same rights as other Europeans, for instance from Poland, Slovakia or other A8 Accession countries. See: Free Movement of EU nationals explained.
UK work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, were extended until the end of 2013 by the British government last November.
EU Commissioner Lazslo Andor has called for a relaxation on work UK restrictions for Eastern Europeans.
He wants Britain to act more than 18 months before the official deadline to drop the ban, restricting the access of Bulgarian and Romanian workers to the labour market of the UK.
Worker Registration and Yellow Card BR1 applications for Bulgarians and Romanians are taking months to process by the UK Border Agency and restrictions look set to remain in place.
In March, Canada added more than 82,000 jobs with the gains coming from its two largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec.
The retail sector is the single largest employer in Canada, accounting for almost two million workers. Health care, nursing, social assistance and manufacturing are the next biggest employers.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:
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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