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Eu Accession States (Work Permits)

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether residents of countries which join the European Union will have immediate permission to work in the United Kingdom with effect from the date of those countries joining the Union; and if he will make a statement. [129773]

The EU (Accessions) Bill provides a power to grant nationals of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia the same rights to work in the UK from 1 May 2004 as are enjoyed by nationals of the states in the European Economic Area. The Accession Treaty automatically grants nationals of Cyprus and Malta these rights.I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's written statement of 16 December 2002,

Official Report, columns 537–51WS, on EU enlargement and free movement of workers, and to the EU (Accessions) Bill and its Explanatory Notes—both available on the FCO website under 'enlarging the EU'—http://www.fco.gov.uk.