East European migrants warning

Up to 250,000 Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants could come to Britain within the first five years after access restrictions are lifted, the Migration Watch group has said.

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Government to make migrant benefit claims 'difficult'

The Government has said it will make it "difficult" for migrants to claim benefits with Britain expected to see an influx of people from the EU's two newest member states when they get full access to the country next year.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said housing rules would also be changed to give local people priority, as a pressure group predicted up to 250,000 Romanian and Bulgarians could head to the UK over the next five years.

ITN News' UK Editor Lucy Manning has met some of those already working here:

Romanian minister plays down immigration influx

Romania's foreign minister has told ITV News a predicted influx of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals to the UK after both countries join the EU is exaggerated.

Titus Corlatean said it is very easy to win political points stoking concerns on immigration but added he does not expect a mass migration in 2014.

Mr Corlatean said he is following stories in the UK press over a possible clampdown on the rights of migrants, but had been given personal assurances from Foreign Secretary William Hague.

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Bulgaria warns UK over migrant benefits clampdown

Britain risks breaking European and domestic law if it pursues plans to make it difficult for new immigrants to get benefits, Bulgaria's foreign minister has told ITV News.

Nikolay Mladenov, who was educated in the UK, said Britain must uphold its reputation for offering fair education and health access for migrants.

His comments came after a think tank warned that around 50,000 people from Bulgaria and Romania will come to the UK every year once both countries join the EU at the start of 2014.

Campaigners warning over Romanian and Bulgarian immigration

Up to 250,000 Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants could come to Britain within the first five years after access restrictions are lifted, campaigners have warned.

Campaigners have warned over Romanian and Bulgarian immigration Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Migration Watch UK, reached the estimate - equal to the population of Newcastle - by assessing three different methods of predicting the likely inflow from Romania and Bulgaria, and said immigration from the two countries could amount to 50,000 a year between 2014 and 2018.

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