British MPs Slam Government On Anti-Immigrant Sentiments
The government “increased anti-immigrant prejudice” by failing to estimate the number of Bulgarians and Romanians coming to UK after the work restrictions ended, UK MPs said.
The forecasts for a steep increase of immigrants from those two countries proved wrong, concluded a British parliamentary committee.
In fact this country experienced a “trickle rather than a flood” after border controls on workers from the two countries were scrapped on 1 January, according to the Commons home affairs select committee, quoted by British media.
The Home Office said it "totally" rejected the MPs' claims.
In its report the committee said the government had been "wrong" not to ask the Migration Advisory Committee to compile advance estimates of the number of people likely to come.
“We are concerned that the decision not to commission has increased anti-immigrant prejudice and has been commandeered by those who wish to inflame tensions about immigration for political gain,” the MPs said.
The committee chairman, Keith Vaz, said: "The government's failure to commission an estimate of these numbers has led to unnecessary anti-immigrant prejudice and is a blot on our tolerant society.
In the future, the MPs said, the Migration Advisory Committee should provide estimates for expected arrivals from countries involved in any future enlargements of the European Union.
Their report also said evidence of "benefits tourism" was limited.