No Surge of Romanian and Bulgarian Migrants After Controls Lifted

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European flight destinations on a board at Otopeni airport near Bucharest on 1 January 2014. Photograph: Bogdan Cristel/Reuters

Courtesy of Alan Travis @ The Guardian:

A quarter of a million Romanians and Bulgarians are now living and working in Britain, more than 80% of whom arrived before labour market restrictions on migrants from their countries were scrapped 12 months ago, say academics.

The Oxford University-based Migration Observatory said the growth in the Romanian and Bulgarian populations of the UK had remained at the same steady pace for the last seven years.

The lack of a surge in migrants from the two EU countries after seven years of transitional controls were lifted on 1 January 2014 confounds predictions by Ukip’s Nigel Farage and others that 5,000 Romanians and Bulgarians would arrive “each week, every week” for several years.

The migration experts said the latest labour force survey figures showed that the overall population of Romanians and Bulgarians in the UK rose from 205,000 in September 2013 to 252,000 in September 2014, an increase of 47,000. This followed a similar rise of 45,000 in the corresponding period in 2012-13.

Madeleine Sumption, the Migration Observatory director, said: “The growth in the Romanian and Bulgarian population of the UK has been steady for the last seven years, despite transitional controls that limited their access to the labour market and welfare state in the UK. The end of these controls do not seem to have had a very significant effect.” Continue reading