The number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers in Britain has topped 200,000 for the first time, as the overall European Union immigrant workforce reached 2.1 million, official figures have shown. There were nearly 300,000 additional EU residents in Britain in the latest data compared with a year ago, the Office for National Statistics said - the largest annual rise since records began in 1997. It represented a rise of 16 per cent in a year. Among Romanians and Bulgarians - who controversially gained full access to the British job market on January 1 last year - the figures reached 219,000, a 30,000 increase year-on-year or 16 per cent, by birth rather than nationality.
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage said: “The number of Romanians and Bulgarians in Britain tops 200,000. I have repeatedly warned against a surge - do people believe me now?
“The record number of EU migrants now in the UK show that inside the EU we cannot control our borders.
“And it is clear from David Cameron’s pathetic renegotiation that the only way to control immigration is to leave the EU. Remaining will mean continued open door mass migration.”
UKIP's Migration Spokesman Steven Woolfe commented: “These official figures have proven that the concerns UKIP had two years ago over removing transitional controls from Bulgaria and Romania have become a reality. This issue was marginalized at the time and we were accused by the political establishment of ‘scaremongering’ but these figures show that immigration from both countries has reached a new high. Unsustainable migration numbers from Romania and Bulgaria has increased wage compression, resulting in wage stagnation and displacement for many British workers.
“Yesterday, the Prime Minister said 40% of all migrants who have arrived in the UK in last four years are supported by the UK benefits system. 66% receive in-work benefits such as tax credits while the rest receive out-of-work benefits and £6,000 is the amount EU migrants claim per family through in-work benefits - costing taxpayer £570m in 2013. Yet even knowing this and with this evidence that net EU immigration is exceeding all estimates nd growing at a fast pace, David Cameron is not prepared to do anything about it.
“With the UK having an open border to 485 million Europeans and with net migration running at 330,000 per year, it is impossible to make any long term and sustainable plans on infrastructure, housing and other public services. The Government needs to implement UKIP’s immigration proposals for an Australian-style points system immediately, so that we have the ability to control the quantity and quality of immigration into the UK, to sustain our public services for future generations. We can only do this if we Leave the EU.”
UKIP Employment Spokesman Jane Collins MEP added: "Whilst there should be no animosity towards people who have come to this country legally to work, politicians should question why we have open borders when we have an unemployment problem amongst UK workers.
"The young in particular are struggling to find work and they will on the whole be fishing in the same pond as EU migrant workers.
"And the additional burden to the tax payer is that because of oversupply and wage compression which big business exploits, the tax payer has to fund in work benefits because Brussels forbids us to put a time limit on those who are eligible."