Fears an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians to Britain will put a strain on public services have been downplayed in an independent report, published by the Foreign Office. It added the number that may arrive on UK shores remains 'unpredictable'.
Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz is urging the Government to conduct a "full study" into the impact of the lifting of the access restrictions between the UK and Bulgaria and Romania. He said:
Though this report is helpful, what the Government needs to do is to commission a full study into the impact of the raising of transitional arrangements placed on Romanian and Bulgarian citizens.
This report contains no estimates of expected arrivals, yet when we deal with immigration it is essential we have the facts and figures.
It would be helpful if Theresa May visited Romania and Bulgaria to gauge the reasons why their citizens would chose to migrate to the UK.
The way we handle this issue will be fundamental in shaping our relationship with the EU, and with future enlargement applicants such as Turkey.
A report conducted by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research into the impact of migration to the UK from Bulgaria and Romania concluded that the impact on public services would be "modest", only potentially increasing if migrants choose to settle in the UK on a long-term basis.
In the areas of schools, the NHS and housing the report said:
Families migrating from the two countries could put pressure on primary school places and although migrant children do not bring school performance down, language assistance will need to be provided.
The widespread public perception that migration from Romania and Bulgaria will put pressure on social housing is not backed up by evidence to date, the NIESR report said.
It added the effect on housing is highly dependent on whether migrants settle in the long-term, but evidence from local surveys showed that while Romanians and Bulgarians are interested in coming to the UK...Many are interested in temporary stays rather than long-term moves.
But initially, future migrants are likely to be young, low-skilled workers, who do not have families, the report said
Because most migrants will be young - mainly under-35 - and healthy, they will have a minimal impact on the health service, it said.
Fears an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians to Britain will put a strain on public services have been downplayed in an independent report, published by the Foreign Office.
But the number that may arrive on UK shores after immigration restrictions are lifted next year remains unpredictable, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) study.
Schools were likely to take much of the strain but the effect on the NHS, the housing sector and the welfare system will be less pronounced, it said.
Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union in 2007 but under "transitional arrangements" workers from the two countries were prevented from travelling to the UK.