Immigrant figures rocket from EU states

OFFICIAL figures released today by the Home Office have revealed that more than 427,000 Eastern Europeans have come to work in Britain since the expansion of the European Union in May 2004.

By Graham Dines

OFFICIAL figures released today by the Home Office have revealed that more than 427,000 Eastern Europeans have come to work in Britain since the expansion of the European Union in May 2004.

If those who applied to the Government's worker registration scheme from but have not yet been approved are added, the total increases to 447,000.

The total shows by just how much the Government has underestimated the influx of workers from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, which all joined the EU along with the Commonwealth nations of Cyrus and Malta. Ministers expected no more than 13,000 applications.


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The 427,000 total does not even cover self-employed workers, who have travelled to the UK to work in the building trade.

There are fears that once Romania and Bulgaria are admitted to EU membership next year, there will be another wave of migrant workers seeking employment in Britain unless the Government puts a quota on incomers from the two states.

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Putting a gloss on the figures. Home Office minister of state Tony McNulty said: “The latest worker registration scheme figures show that migrant workers from the accession states are benefiting the UK, by filling skills and labour gaps that cannot be met from the UK-born population.

“We are yet to take a decision as to what access Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will have to our labour market when they join the EU.

“Any decision will be based on objective factors including an evaluation of our labour market needs and the impact of the A8 accession, but also the position of other member states."

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