‘Vince Cable said this rise was “good news”. I do not agree,’ writes Mrs May, before going on to complain: ‘At the moment we are bound by the treaties that successive governments have signed. These mean we cannot impose formal immigration controls on EU migrants.’
She argues that Mr Cameron’s plans to claw back powers from Brussels prior to a referendum on EU membership in 2017 should be used as an opportunity to change European laws on migration. The Home Secretary wants new member countries to reach a minimum level of wealth before their workers are allowed to travel to the UK to find employment.
Some 24,000 citizens of Romania and Bulgaria arrived in the year to September 2013 – nearly three times the 9,000 who arrived in the previous year.
Those numbers are likely to rise, as the statistics pre-date the lifting of border controls on Romanians and Bulgarians on January 1.