Dealing with Romanian Immigration

Today I am travelling to Romania to see what we can do to limit the flow of immigrants from Romania to the UK once EU restrictions on free movement are removed this coming January.

The Romanian Ambassador recently told us at the Home Affairs Select Committee that he expected 15-20 thousand Romanians to move to the UK annually once restrictions were removed. His Bulgarian counterpart estimated that the annual movement from Bulgaria would be 8-10 thousand. Others such as the respected think tank Migration Watch have estimated higher.

Along with Keith Vaz MP, our Chairman, and fellow Conservative James Clappison MP I will, over the next couple of days, be seeking to understand the extent of poverty and unemployment and other factors which might ‘push’ people to leave Romania, and see what can be done in the UK to discourage substantial immigration from Romania and Bulgaria.

The government is bringing in a new Immigration Bill which may help in some areas, although I wish some actions had been taken earlier – and suspect these were previously vetoed by the Liberal Democrats.

One key problem we have in the UK is the interaction between immigration and our welfare system. Unlike other EU countries, except Ireland and Denmark, we have a means tested rather than contributory system which pays over quite substantial tax credits to people with low and some middling incomes who have children. This may be quite a draw to Romanians and Bulgarians even when they want to work.

Of course my preferred solution is to leave the EU as soon as possible and take back control of our own borders to decide ourselves whom we allow into our country.

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3 Comments

Filed under benefits, Bulgaria, conservatives, europe, Home Affairs Select Committee, Home Office, Immigration, keith vaz, mark reckless, MP, Referendum, rochester and strood, UKBA, youtube

3 responses to “Dealing with Romanian Immigration

  1. Patryk

    Mark, why isn’t your prefered solution to change the welfare from means-tested and universal to contributory? That should work well both for immigrants and the local population. Don’t overcomplicate things.

  2. marilyn

    Mark, I’m so glad I live in a constituency with an MP who is being really proactive in this regard. I am not certain, myself, about the best solution to this issue, but I’m still hugely concerned about what might happen in the new year. (I so fear the potential damage to our communities!)
    Do continue to keep your eye on the ball on this one, please!

  3. Mark, if you Romanians and Bulgarians are THE PROBLEM and leaving EU will solve this, you need to see a shrink urgently. Most immigrants come from outside the EU. The ONS and the DWP give a figure of 200000+ non-EU immigrants every year. Getting out of the EU still leaves the UK with an extra million of non-EU immigrants every five years. Not counting the enormous trade losses as export to the EU countries will become uncompetitive. The political Establishment live by the delusion that they would be able to negotiate better conditions if outside EU. It won’t happen. Switzerland, who has more Money Power than UK, had to relinquish its Banking secrecy under the EU pressure.
    On top of that antagonising Romania is a proof of utter stupidity. The country has big reserves of energy and the oil conducts going to Western Europe will pass through this country (Nabucco). And the port of Constanta (Romania), with direct access to the Danube, river is a trading gate to Middle East.
    Ditto for Varna in Bulgaria
    Eastern Europe’s geography is not taught in the UK but this is not an excuse for a MP.
    PS: I am glad you are not my MP.

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