There is a growing anxiety about a possible immigration influx from Bulgaria and Romania in UK

On 1st January 2014, the transitional controls that forbid citizens of Bulgaria and Romania to work in EU countries will expire. The controls were introduced in 2007 and can be extended to a maximum of  7 years. The UK premier minister is currently feeling a growing pressure to preserve the controls after 2014.

Nevertheless, the UK immigration minister Mark Harper said that he does not expect a large influx of Bulgarian and Romanian workers in Britain during 2014. In 2004, when Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary and the Czech Republic joined the EU, all western countries except the United Kingdom introduced working limitations for citizens of those countries. Mr Harper said that this had meant that most people from the eight new EU countries who had wanted to emigrate to an old EU Country could only move easily to the UK, Sweden or Ireland. Therefore, he said, the numbers coming to the UK were high.

It is estimated that over 600,000 people from just one country, Poland, had come to the UK by the end of 2006. He said that Bulgarian and Romanian will rather travel to other EU countries such as Germany and Italia since large communities of Bulgarians and Romanians already live in those countries and they will exert a pull effect on the future immigrants. According to Harper, it is impossible to extend the controls beyond 2014 because this will contradict EU agreements which the UK has signed.

Anxiety about the prospect of immigration influx from Bulgaria and Romania persist among the UK public. Only 25 per cent of the UK citizens believe that Bulgarians and Romanians should enjoy the same rights to work in the UK as Western European citizens.

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