Mythbuster: 10 Questions Answered on Romanian and Bulgarian Immigration #1

Question #1 – A massive wave of Eastern-European migrants arrived in 2004. Why would it be any different in 2014?

A photo of two gypsy children playing
Gypsy Girls by Rachel Titiriga

In 2004 eight new countries joined the EU at one time, this time we are looking at 2 new countries joining. According to Alan Johnson, Britain at this time had the highest rate of employment ever and 600,000 vacancies. He added that Britain lifted immigration restrictions early because employers told ministers that it was necessary. The official predictions concerning the amount of people that would come turned out to be a gross underestimate. This was primarily because the other major EU countries such as Germany and France still had restrictions on immigration.

Five year old quotas limiting the number of people from Bulgaria and Romania moving to Britain will expire in just under 7 months’ time. This will give 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians the right to live and work unrestricted in Britain in 2014 under European ‘freedom of movement‘ rules.

The major difference this time is that all other EU countries will also have to open their labour markets to Romania and Bulgaria without restrictions.


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