Diplomats estimate 35,000 Bulgarians and Romanians will move to UK

24 Apr 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Diplomats have estimated that up to 35,000 Bulgarians and Romanians will move to the UK next year when the UK immigration regulations regarding their working rights are changed.

Next year, people from these countries will have the current labour market restrictions lifted, allowing them much easier access to jobs in Britain.

There has been much debate about the issue and some have surmised that lifting the restrictions would result in a flood of people moving across along the lines of the high numbers of Polish people who moved to the UK for work in the early 2000s.

Bulgarian ambassador, Konstantin Dimitrov, has responded to the suggestions that there will be an influx of workers. He told MPs that the forecasts predicting numbers as high as 350,000 are "bombastic", noting that he expects between eight and ten thousand Bulgarians to move across.

Ion Jinga, the Romanian ambassador, added in the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, that he expects somewhere between 15 thousand and 25 thousand of his citizens to move to Britain for work next year.

Meanwhile, UK immigration minister Mark Harper noted that there is an acknowledged difficulty in predicting just how many people will move across when the restrictions are dropped at the end of the year. He said: "In terms of credibility it is better for ministers to say it is not possible to have an accurate forecast. We should treat people as grown-ups and they will understand the complexities."

Previous estimations have been given ranging from between 13,000 to as high as 400,000.