Romanians and Bulgarians Could Flock to UK, British MP Says
By Wesley Johnson
Philip Hollobone told MPs the number of migrants from the two countries who are in the UK could soar from 155,000 to 425,000 within two years and said it was a “disgrace” that the government was refusing to issue its own estimate.
But Mark Harper, the immigration minister, said making predictions was "a very difficult exercise" and bandying around guesses based on poor data and assumptions was not sensible.
Mr Hollobone, the Conservative 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."
His comments followed claims last week from planning minister Nick Boles that immigrant families accounted for nearly half of Britain's new housing needs.
Romania and Bulgaria's citizens can move to Britain for work when temporary limits expire on December 31 next year.
Using figures which showed 1.5% of eastern European migrants came to the UK from the eight nations which joined the EU in 2004, Mr Hollobone said the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians in the UK could jump from 155,000 to 425,000.
But Mr Harper told MPs other EU states were lifting their restrictions on citizens from the two countries at the same time, potentially reducing the numbers coming to the UK.
- » German NGO Calls on Berlin not to Send Asylum Seekers Back to Bulgaria
- » Is Bulgaria a 16th Republic or a 51st State?
- » NY Times: Bulgaria Puts Up a New Wall, but This One Keeps People Out
- » Reuters: Bulgaria Struggling to Deal with Pension System's Strain on Economy
- » BBC: Only Qualified Musicians Allowed to Plovdiv's Main Street
- » Euronews: Why Is Bulgaria the EU's Most Unhappy Country?