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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

row incoming

PA reports on new statistics from the Home Office, out this morning:

Nearly 8,000 Bulgarians and Romanians came to work in Britain in the first three months after their countries joined the EU, the Home Office said today.

A further 2,400 have joined the seasonal agricultural workers' scheme.

The figures did not provide a full picture of the numbers who have moved to the UK because no such records are kept by the Government.

The Government had initially said that the number of jobs for migrants from the A2 would be 20,000. The Home Office said that "Low-skilled migration from Bulgaria and Romania will be restricted to those sectors of the economy where the UK already has low-skilled schemes and will be subject to a strict quota which will not exceed 20,000 workers per year."

But later, after a run in with farmers, the Government reduced the cap to just 10,000. (See the Sunday Times and our blog from last October). But now it looks like we are already over that - with nine months to go.

Whether the "limit" was 10,000 or 20,000, it looks like the fantasy idea of "limiting" the number of jobs available without limiting free movement is about to collide with reality.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The HO data also includes some 1440 Romanians and 1060 Bulgarians exempt from worker restrictions - i.e. people settled in the UK prior to 1 January, so the actual number of new entrants is significantly lower than the headline figure might suggest