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MP wants EU free movement restricted to reduce UK unemployment | Immigration Matters

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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.

Romanian Sudent with Yellow Card to work and study in UK

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.

Bulgarians and Romanians coming to the UK on Yellow Card registration permits can work and study full time on vocational courses such as NVQ or QCF courses in Health and Social Care

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.

See also:

Nurse Jobs Canada

Yellow Card applications for Bulgarians and Romanians can take up to six months to process

UK faces fine from EU over immigration and free movement restrictions on Eastern Europeans

Romanian EU migrants head for London jobs ahead of Olympics

London Olympic motto unveiled as 100-day countdown begins

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

EU Commissioner calls for end to UK work restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians

7 tips for completing a Yellow Card BR1 application to work and study in the UK

Employment restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians extended until end of 2013 

Is Heathrow Border Force ready for Olympics?

Yellow or Blue Card Refused – Appeal or Reapply?

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: or visit 

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

Overseas students and workers can qualify for a tax refund 

You could qualify for a tax refund if you are an overseas student, work permit holder, Tier 1, Yellow or Blue Card holder – in fact any visa type – even if you are no longer legal or even in the UK!

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2 Responses to “MP wants EU free movement restricted to reduce UK unemployment”
Read them below or add one

  1. […] MP wants EU free movement restricted to reduce UK unemployment […]

  2. He knows that this is not possible,i don’t know why he is making such a statements.

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