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Eu Enlargement

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of enlargement of the European Union and the rights of nationals of the applicant countries to work in other member states on English farming and horticulture. [129772]

After accession on 1 May 2004 nationals from the new member states and members of their families will have the right to work in the United Kingdom on the same basis as those from existing member states. While this will significantly increase the potential pool of workers able to work in English farming and horticulture, a number of independent studies looking at the scale of migration flows into the EU after enlargement suggest that there are likely to be only relatively small inflows into the UK. Predictions of migration flows are difficult to make, even at national level, so the impact on a particular sector such as farming and horticulture is even more uncertain.