The European Commissioner of social affairs thinks that UK immigration debate is misguided
According to the European Commissioner of social affairs, Laszlo Andor has expressed an opinion that UK immigration debate is highly misguided. He claims that the statistics are crystal clear on the fact that the United Kingdom is on the whole winning from the fact that EU citizens can work in the country.
Mr Andor was speaking at the launch of new rules on the eligibility for social security benefits of EU citizens who have moved to other EU states. The European Commission hopes that these guidelines will clarify the law for member states.
Mr Andor thinks that in the future people will not believe their politicians on immigration issues after they see that the predicted flood of Bulgarians and Romanians will not materialize. Bulgaria and Romania became part of the EU in 2007. At that time most of the Western European countries imposed transitional rules for citizens of Bulgaria and Romanian which limited their access to the local labour markets.
According to the European law, the rules cannot be extended for more than 7 years, which means that after 1 January 2014 their citizens will have the right to work in the United Kingdom without work permits being necessary. This has led to the fact that many UK right-wing politicians and newspapers made a prediction that more than 50 000 Bulgarians and Romanians will come to the UK each year until 2019.
The statistics, however, show that in the first week of January 2014 very few workers have arrived in the UK. The Daily Express newspaper, which had been predicting that thousands of migrants would arrive in January, reported on Tuesday 14th January that only 25 Bulgarians and Romanians have arrived since 1st January.
According to Mr Andor, the failure of the mass immigration prediction will make people more focused on the real facts about immigration instead of their irrational fears.
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