Britain is the first choice for young Romanians who want to work abroad – sparking concerns that hundreds of thousands could flock here when border controls are scrapped.
Research has revealed a quarter of the population aged between 18 and 35 would choose a job in the UK when work restrictions for Romanians and Bulgarians are removed on January 1.
The study found that Britain had overtaken Germany as the most popular destination for young Romanians wanting to emigrate.
The findings challenge a bid by ministers to play down the prospect of another influx from Eastern Europe when the immigrants are given free access to the UK jobs market.
The Government has made no attempt to estimate the number of Romanians and Bulgarians who will arrive here, but David Cameron insists there will be ‘nothing like’ the huge numbers seen when Poland joined the EU in 2004 – put at 1.1million.