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Immigration (UK Skills Shortages)

Volume 454: debated on Monday 4 December 2006

12. What recent estimate he has made of the number of workers from Romania and Bulgaria required to satisfy current UK skills shortages when developing his Department’s proposed restrictions on such immigration. (106801)

We have made it clear, not least during this afternoon’s questions, that we will impose controls on Romania and Bulgaria’s access to jobs for a transitional period. The opening of our labour market will take account of the needs of our labour market, the impact of the A10 expansion and the positions adopted by other member states.

Is the Minister aware of concerns in my constituency about the number of workers who may come to Britain from Romania and Bulgaria who will be unskilled or semi-skilled, rather than the skilled people that the country needs? Will she deny the suggestion, emanating from her own Department, that some 45,000 undesirables could well come to the country as a result of her policies?

Those coming from Romania and Bulgaria do not have any automatic right to work. Although we have not placed restrictions on skilled workers from Romania and Bulgaria, we will double enforcement and ensure that anyone who works does so legally. If they do not do so, sanctions will be enforced.