One in 25 Buglarians and one in 100 Romanians are actively looking for jobs in Britain next year when they will gain the right to live and work in this country, according to polls for BBC2’s Newsnight released last night.
If all these people did eventually come to the UK it would equate to 350,000 new migrants.
Although much higher numbers told pollsters they wanted to come to Britain, only relatively small proportions had either signed up to a recruitment agency or were looking independently for work. Most of those said they would only come to Britain if they had a firm offer of a job.
Asked to select their first choice of country to move to, 4.6 per cent of Romanians and 9.3 per cent of Bulgarians named Britain.
The most popular choices were Italy and Germany for Romanians and Germany and Britain for Bulgarians.
The Government has refused to estimate how many it believes could head to Britain when restrictions are lifted from January.
A survey commissioned by Labour suggested the move could attract 8,100 Romanians and 4,600 Bulgarians to the UK.
But the UK Independence Party has claimed that between 350,000 and 400,000 Romanians and Bulgarians could come to Britain, while a Tory MP has put the number at 270,000.