Home Office must evaluate influence of Turkish entry into EU: MPs

Current migration of Turkish declined to below 50,000 a year
2nd August 2011: The MPs suggested that Home Office must evaluate influence of Turkish entry into EU to shun influx of migrants.
The home affairs select committee has urged that much more needs to be done to improve security on Turkey’s borders before it should be allowed to join the EU. The land border with Greece has been identified as the main loophole, for irregular migration into Europe with 350 migrants trying to cross it every day in 2010.

The MPs’ report suggests that the available forecasts for the likely flow of Turkish nationals to other European countries range from 500,000 to 4.4 million up until 2030. One estimate by Oxford University suggests that the figure could be as low as 60,000 to 70,000 a year to Europe as a whole.

The report published in The Guradian, says that current migration of Turkish nationals to the EU has declined to below 50,000 a year. But at the same time population trends and the gap in living standards could make easier migration within the EU an attractive option for Turkish citizens.

The report further adds the committee is careful about allowing Turkish citizens full freedom of movement. They support the government’s commitment to applying useful in-between controls as a matter of course, for all new member states.

The Home Office says that there are about 150,000 Turkish nationals living in Britain at present, with about 500,000 people of Turkish origin living in the country altogether. But Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and France all have larger Turkish communities which are more probable to draw a new wave of legal migration.

Current discussions in Brussels assume that Turkey could join the EU in 2020 but no final decisions have been made and there is significant opposition among some member states.

Home Office immigration minister Damian Green, giving confirmation to the committee’s inquiry, said it was impossible to make any kind of practical assessment at the moment on the impact of Turkish accession to the EU on likely migration patterns.

He said that "we don’t know any of the basic facts", including whether a transitional period under which Britain could limit the flow of Turkish migrant workers will be put in place.

Green also pointed out that Turkey conventionally had much stronger links with Germany than Britain and had an economy which was growing at a quicker rate than India, meaning many Turks might well stay at home.

However, the MPs say that, while the Home Office was no doubt cautious of attracting criticism for producing erroneous estimates in the future, they were concerned that no official impact analysis has yet been carried out: "Accordingly we recommend that the Home Office undertakes this piece of work now and updates it as circumstances change."


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