New data on Eastern Europe migrants

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Further figures showing the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians who have taken up employment in Britain since access restrictions to the labour market were lifted at the turn of the year will be published today.

Labour market data, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), will show how many citizens of the eastern European countries were employed in the UK between April and June t his year.

The previous batch of data appeared to suggest a predicted surge in Romanians and Bulgarians arriving in Britain had not transpired.

Some 140,000 people who were born in Romania and Bulgaria were employed in the UK between January and March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed in May, a drop of 4,000 when compared with the 144,000 employed in the last three months of 2013.

Employment curbs were lifted for citizens of the so-called A2 countries on January 1, prompting warnings of a looming surge of immigration from the likes of Ukip.

After the last batch of figures were published, the party’s leader Nigel Farage was attacked for ”scaremongering” in the run up to the transitional controls being lifted.

A range of polarised reports emerged in the run-up to the lifting of controls, including a predicted surge in pickpocketing, muggings, beggars on the streets and rioting.

Other reports suggested citizens from the two Eastern European countries will attempt to sell their babies when they arrive in Britain.

And claims of fully-booked flights and coaches from Bucharest and Sofia at the turn of the year were incorrect and retracted.

The Home Affairs Select Committee earlier this year blasted the Government for failing to commission estimates of the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians who would come to Britain after controls were lifted.

In a damning report, the committee said the Government’s decision not to obtain official estimates played into the hands of those who ”wish to inflame tensions about immigration for political gain”.

Prime Minister David Cameron rushed through new measures at the end of last year to ensure EU migrants will be unable to claim out-of-work benefits for their first three months in the UK.

In addition, those found begging or sleeping rough could be deported and barred from re-entry for 12 months unless they can show they have a proper reason to be in the UK, such as holding a job.

Other proposals previously announced in the Government’s flagship Immigration Act will see migrant access to the NHS restricted, while landlords, employers, bankers and DVLA staff will all be expected to take part in checks for illegal immigrants under tough reforms.

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