UK immigration: Fewer than 30 Romanian arrivals since border restrictions lifted, says country's ambassador to Britain
Diplomat also says ten UK companies had been in touch with his embassy, wanting to employ Romanians
Fewer than 30 Romanians have arrived in the UK since the lifting of border restrictions on New Year's Day, the country's ambassador to Britain estimates.
Ion Jinga offered the estimate in a comment piece in the Telgraph, insisting that the restictions' lifting was "the beginning of a win-win game" for both countries.
On 1 January this year, people from Romania and Bulgaria gained the same working rights as other European Union citizens in eight countries, including the UK, Germany, Austria and France. It was hyped in some sections of the press as the day floods of migrants would sweep the country, further encumbering the welfare state.
But Mr Jinga wrote that these floods never materialised, though exact numbers aren't available. In the UK, new arrivals aren't made to register with local authorities, but he inferred the numbers from those arriving in the Netherlands, where registration is required.
He wrote: "What we know is that on the flight into Luton airport on the 1 January, only two Romanians took advantage of the lifting of border restrictions in Britain.
Bucharest to London: On the bus with the Romanians taking the 52-hour ride in search of a new life in Britain
"We also have figures from the Netherlands, where the registration is requested: in the first 10 days, 21 Romanians and 15 Bulgarians have registered. I do not see any reason why Holland would be less attractive than the UK, with the geographic proximity playing in favour of the Dutch."
He further cited UK Government figures showing that Romanians accounted for only 0.03 per cent of Britain's working age benefit claimants. He wrote: "Romanians are net contributors to the public purse, not a drain."
Mr Jinga also claimed that ten UK companies had been in touch with his embassy, for help in attracting Romanian employees.
"We advised them," he wrote, "to advertise their job offers to Job Centre Plus."
As EU work restrictions are lifted for Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, the influx has begun... of Britons heading for Bucharest
The claim comes in the week that the EU's social affairs chief said there was no evidence of any influx of Romanians and Bulgarians travelling to Britain since the lifting of restrictions.
Speaking in Brussels, Commissioner Laszlo Andor criticised the “over-emotional and misguided discussion in certain member states,” and said: “Once people see in the UK that after 1 January there is no influx of Romanians and Bulgarians, the evidence will help to alleviate the existing concerns and people will pay more attention to the fact that the migrant workforce actually brings a lot of benefits."
And David Cameron’s trade advisor, Ken Clarke, told the Financial Times that migrants have contributed to making Britain more dynamic.
Rejecting claims that immigration had reached unmanageable levels, he told the newspaper: “I just don’t think it’s true that the EU is responsible for unacceptable waves of migration.”
But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told the Telegraph: "Immigration in the decade up to 2010 was allowed to be out of control. The Prime Minister has been very clear about that. It was too high."
- 1 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 2 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
Mohammed Emwazi: Family of man named as 'Jihadi John' described by neighbours as 'normal Muslim family'
Mohammed Emwazi: Nine things we know about man named as Isis militant 'Jihadi John'
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
£15600 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...
£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...