Government should keep restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian workers, says chairman of think-tank 15 December 2008. Migrationwatch UK has published a study which shows that between 2001 and 2008, employment in the UK grew by 1.342 million – made up of 253,000 more UK nationals in work and 1,087,000 more foreign workers in jobs. There has been a significant surge in the number of migrant workers in employment – including almost half a million more Eastern Europeans.
There are 1.34 million more people in work now than in 2001 but the number of UK-born workers in employment has actually fallen by 62,000 over the same period.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: "From an immigration point of view this means that migration from Eastern Europe is moving into balance as we have been predicting but, from the point of view of British born workers, the damage to their prospects has already been done – at a time when jobs of almost all kinds are at a premium.
"This must have been staring the government in the face for a long time yet even last month they described the East European migrants as "helping to fill gaps in the labour market".
Rather than come clean about the effect of massive immigration on the prospects of British born workers they have been spinning the statistics and camouflaging the true position with "tough talk" about immigration.
‘Now that the cat is out of the bag they cannot possibly lift such restrictions as now exist on Romanian and Bulgarian workers."
Of the growth in non-UK nationals in jobs, some 469,000 were from the so-called A8 Eastern European countries, including Poland and Slovakia, who joined the EU in 2004 and were granted full access to the British labour market.
Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 but the Government imposed restrictions on low-skilled workers. The effective quota is up for review at the end of the year and ministers are expected to announce on Thursday that it will remain in place.