London braced for 'influx' of migrants under new rules

A change to the rules in 2014 will allow Bulgarian and Romanian migrants to work in the capital from today. Some newspapers are warning of an influx of thousands of migrants.

National

Romanian migrant seeking work: Here you pay a lot

Victor Spiresau has arrived in the UK from Romania today in order to find a job in construction, he told ITV News.

Victor Spiresau says he taught himself English by watching films and MTV
Victor Spiresau says he taught himself English by watching films and MTV Credit: ITV News

The 30-year-old said he earned 10 euros a day working on building sites at home and that he hopes to make 10 euros an hour here, but was not planning on settling.

"I don't want to stay here. I want to renovate my home and to make a good life in Romania because it's much easier to live in Romania because it's not expensive."

Mr Spiresau said he already has work lined up washing cars in London but hopes to go on to work in the construction industry. He said he chose to come to the UK over other European countries as he can speak the language.

Read: Keith Vaz MP greets Romanians off plane at Luton

National

Keith Vaz MP greets Romanians off plane at Luton

Romanians landing at Luton Airport were greeted by Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz on the first day of new rules allowing the migrants to work in the UK.

He said he saw no evidence of migrants who have "rushed out and bought tickets" because of the lifting of regulations.

Keith Vaz MP (second from L) greets a Romanian passenger at Luton Airport
Keith Vaz MP (second from L) greets a Romanian passenger at Luton Airport Credit: ITV News

He said that most of the people he met already work in the UK and were "coming back after a holiday".

But he also criticised the government for a "lack of robust estimates" of the number of Romanians and Bulgarians expected to arrive in the UK.

Read: UK firms advertise nearly 5,000 jobs on Romanian site

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National

Romanians and Bulgarians 'could knock target off track'

Tory MP Mark Reckless accompanied Keith Vaz at Luton Airport, claiming he was concerned that large numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians may come to the UK.

I'm here this morning because my party - the Conservatives - we made a promise that we would cut immigration from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands a year.

And my concern is that if we do see large numbers coming from Romania and Bulgaria then that could knock us off that target and the promise we made to the electorate.

– mark reckless, tory mp
National

Top Tory claims Roma 'defecating on London doorsteps'

Philippa Roe warned that a minority of the immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria could escalate existing problems. Credit: PA Wire

A top Tory warned that a minority of the immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria could escalate existing problems, including pickpocketing and defecating on doorsteps.

Philippa Roe, Conservative leader of Westminster City Council, told BBC Radio 4's The World At One programme: "I know the vast majority of Romanians and Bulgarians planning to come to the UK are planning to work and contribute to society here.

"I think the fear that everybody faces, which is reflected in the media, is those that come to Britain and either fail to find jobs and therefore fall back on our welfare system, or those who deliberately come here to pickpocket and aggressively beg.

"We have seen in the past 18 months, particularly the Roma in central London, causing a massive amount of disruption and low-level crime which has made a very negative impact on our communities.

"It's this minority one is really concerned about but it is this minority that has this really big impact.

"You've only got to wander around Marble Arch at 7.30 in the morning to see the camps.

"We have people walking out of their front door to find people sleeping on their front doorsteps, people defecating on their front doorstep.

"It's extremely unpleasant and it goes with the very aggressive begging and pickpocketing and other sorts of crime in the area which affects both residents and tourists."

National

Balkan migrants bring 'badly needed' knowledge

Romanian and Bulgarian migrants bring "knowledge and experience" London businesses "badly need" and fill a skills gap that British youngsters cannot, The London Chamber of Commerce has said.

Chief executive Colin Stanbridge said:

Political rhetoric on migrant workers has stepped up in recent days as the deadline for removal of restrictions approaches. However, the debate often fails to take into account the positive benefits that migration brings to the London economy.

Migrant workers are often highly skilled, bringing with them knowledge and experience that London businesses badly need - now - in order to continue to grow.

Of course the Government needs to equip our young people with the skills that businesses require, but that will take years.

– Chief executive Colin Stanbridge

Read more: '250k Balkan migrants' expected in UK over five years