A British MP has claimed that three times as many Romanians and Bulgarians already in the country could come here when current restrictions on free movement are lifted in 2014.
Conservative MP Philip Hollobone warned MPs 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. He added that it was a “disgrace” that the government was refusing to issue its own estimate.
But the Immigration Minister Mark Harper argued that predicting numbers was “a very difficult exercise” and making guesses based on poor data and assumptions was not sensible.
Mr Hollobone, 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.
“Enough is enough.” he said.
The controversial views follow similar claims last week from Planning Minister Nick Boles that immigrant families accounted for nearly half of Britain’s new housing needs.
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.
At present, even though they are members of the European Union, Bulgarians and Romanians do not enjoy the same rights to work as the earlier A8 Eastern European EU accession countries such as Poland and Latvia.
Employers often overlook the fact that they cannot employ a Romanian or Bulgarian worker in the same way they can a Polish or other A8 accession country citizen.
Possession of 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.
Romanians and Bulgarians can register as self employed and start businesses, which is allowed, or work and study on a Yellow Card Visa.
Based on figures which showed 1.5% of eastern European migrants moved to the UK from the eight nations which joined the EU in 2004, Hollobone said the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians in the UK could leap from 155,000 to 425,000.
Mr Harper pointed out that other EU states were also lifting their restrictions potentially reducing the numbers coming to the UK, but failed to mention that EU citizens from Spain, Portugal and Greece were already flocking here to escape their bust economies where there is no work.
The reality is that despite calls by the Home Secretary Theresa May for curbs on European migration, Britain is bound by EU treaties and can nothing about it, short of leaving the European Union.
The only thing preventing more Romanians and Bulgarians from studying and working in the UK is the UK Border Agency’s long delays in processing their yellow card applications. Students exercising treaty rights are advised to keep trying to get an appointment for the same day service at Croydon.
One Bulgarian NVQ student at Majestic College persistently called the UKBA line for two weeks before obtaining an appointment at Croydon last week. She was rewarded with a yellow card, although officers would not accept her non-EU Husband’s BR5 blue card residence permit application which she has since sent by post.
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:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org