On 1 January 2014 the labour market in Britain will open up to Romania and Bulgaria, meaning anyone from either country can come to live and work in the UK.
The UK government has failed to release any official figures on who might migrate making some fear that Britain’s public services, which are already over stretched, will not be able to cope with a possible new wave of migrants.
Tonight looks at the likely impact on Britain’s communities and also visits Bucharest, the Romanian capital to meet some of those Romanians planning to move to the UK next year.
In 2004 labour restrictions were lifted on Poland and other Eastern European countries in the same way; and on that occasion the British government underestimated how many would travel to the UK.
However this time Migration Watch, a think tank has published some research and the chairman of Migration Watch Sir Andrew Green told Tonight that the UK should “expect fifty thousand in the year as a whole and the same for the following five years".
He also told Tonight that the social benefits system in the UK is a major economic pull factor drawing migrants from the EU to the UK.
However the Romanian Home Secretary Bogdan Tohaneanu feels that the benefits issue is irrelevant and that the media coverage given to Romania in the UK is unfair insisting that his country is “a very civilised country, with very civilised people, with well educated people”.
There will be well educated Romanians that want to come to the UK because they have a very specific skill set.
Tonight meets one such Romanian Diana Todea, she is a recent graduate from Edinburgh University.
Diana, an IT professional, intends to come and work in the UK because she would like to forge her career in Britain but she told Tonight, “Not everybody is attracted to the UK. The UK of course has a lot to offer but it’s not offering everything”.
Gabriel Toader is another Romanian looking to come to the UK in January 2014 but it won’t be his first trip.
On Gabriel’s last trip he says he was exploited both by the Romanian agency that arranged for him to travel to the UK and by his British employer once he arrived.
He spoke of how he was made to work 17 hours a day and during his first week in the UK he worked for thirty hours straight.
So for Gabriel the change in the right to work rules mean that he can freely travel to the UK without having to pay an agency. Aasmah Mir also travels to the market town of Boston in Lincolnshire, an area that has been changed by an influx of migrants.
Tonight: Coming to the UK is on ITV at 7.30pm tonight