We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk

UK Politics

No influx of migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria, survey of airlines and coach companies finds


The predicted influx of workers from Romania and Bulgaria following the lifting of immigration restrictions has failed to materialise, a survey of airlines and coach companies has found.

Six airlines and three coach companies who provide services between Romania and Bulgaria and the UK all said they had not seen any increased traffic from the two eastern European states to this country since the New Year.

The figures were uncovered by the pro-immigration campaign group Migration Matters. Over Christmas and New Year, there were warnings from politicians and anti-immigration campaigners, including Ukip and MigrationWatch, that relaxing visa restrictions on Bulgaria and Romania would lead to an influx of people, put pressure on public services and fuel "benefit tourism". Shortly before the visa rules changed on 1 January, David Cameron announced that Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants would not be eligible for out-of-work benefits for the first three months of being in the UK.

On 1 January, Keith Vaz and fellow members of the Home Affairs Committee went to greet Romanians at Heathrow airport, to find that only a handful were arriving. The new research suggests that this trend continued through January and February.