Eastern European diplomats criticise ‘bombastic’ reporting of potential exodus once working restrictions are lifted next year
Up to 35,000 Bulgarians and Romanians will come to Britain to work next year when labour market restrictions on them are lifted, their London diplomats have predicted.
The Bulgarian ambassador, Konstantin Dimitrov, told MPs that forecasts predicting up to 350,000 new migrants would head to the UK over the next few were "bombastic" and that he expected between 8,000 to 10,000 to travel from his country.
His Romanian counterpart, Ion Jinga, told the Commons home affairs select committee he expected between 15,000 and 25,000 of his citizens to come to Britain to work in 2014.
Jinga said he did not have a crystal ball but believed the improving state of the Romanian economy, low levels of unemployment and affordable housing would limit the number of people coming to seek work in Britain: "The preferred destination for Romanians is now Romania," he said.
He said the majority of the 80,000 to 100,000 Romanians already working in Britain had come to "fill employment shortages" in industries such as construction.
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