A million migrants from East Europe now live in Britain: That's 1.5% of the population of eight EU nations
One in every 67 citizens of eight former communist nations has moved here
Romanians and Bulgarians will get free access to UK jobs market next year
Tory MP Philip Hollobone said swathes of countryside will be built over to accommodate new arrivals
Government won't estimate number of European immigrants expected to head for UKPlanning minister Nick Boles said immigrants accounted for nearly half of Britain’s new housing needs
09:46 GMT, 5 December 2012
The number of Eastern Europeans living in Britain is equal to 1.5 per cent of the population of their homelands, MPs were told yesterday.
The astonishing revelation effectively means that one in every 67 citizens of eight former communist nations has moved here.
Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia and Estonia all joined the EU in 2004 – giving them unrestricted access to the UK’s labour market.
Warning: Tory Philip Hollobone says Britain's fields are under threat from a wave of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants
Since then, the number of immigrants
from these ‘A8’ nations, which have 73million people between them, has
rocketed from just 94,000 to 1,079,000.
The figures emerged in a Westminster Hall debate on the impact of immigration from Eastern Europe.
High demand: Planning Minister Nick Boles warned 100,000 new homes will be built to accommodate the expanding British population
Romanians and Bulgarians will also
get free access to the UK jobs market from the end of next year when
temporary restrictions are lifted.
Tory MP Philip Hollobone said that –
if the experience with the A8 nations was anything to go by – the number
of Romanians and Bulgarians living here will treble to 425,000.
‘If we apply that same rate to the
entry of Romania, with 21million people, and Bulgaria, with 7million,
the 155,000 presently resident in the UK would climb to some 425,000,’
‘What we are going to see is swathes
of our countryside built over to accommodate the millions of new
arrivals from the European Union, over which we seemingly have little
A string of Tory MPs attacked the Home Office for refusing to estimate how many Romanians and Bulgarians will move to Britain.
The ‘transitional controls’ in place
now include limits on the number of people who can fill low-paid jobs.
From the end of next year, EU rules state these controls must be lifted.
Mr Hollobone said: ‘It’s a disgrace the Government won’t estimate the
number of immigrants it expects from Bulgaria and Romania.
enough to open our borders to all and sundry, but it adds insult to
injury to then not even give the British people an estimate of how many
incomers we can expect.’
Home Office officials are acutely aware of the mistakes made by the
department prior to the A8 countries joining in 2004. Then, they
predicted 13,000 arrivals every year.
Immigration minister Mark Harper yesterday said making predictions was
‘a very difficult exercise’ influenced by a range of factors.
At risk: With a lack of both empty homes and developed sites where new homes could be built, Green Belt land may have to be sacrificed
insisted the Government was committed to cutting the ‘unsustainable’ net
number of migrants to the tens of thousands and highlighted figures
last week showing a 25 per cent drop in annual incomers.
Home Office sources said officials were looking at restricting access to
key public services for migrants who arrive here without a job.
Last week, planning minister Nick Boles said that immigrant families accounted for nearly half of Britain’s new housing needs.