This is a stunning survey, which the BBC has rather desperately tried to play down. The percentages look small but when multiplied by the size of the work force they produce large numbers. One percent of Romanians of working age (total 15.4 million) actively considering work in the UK amounts to 150,000 and four percent of working age Bulgarians (total 4.9 million) is another 200,000. Even if one takes only those making concrete plans, the number of Romanians is 61,000 and the number of Bulgarians 58,000 or nearly 120,000 in total. Not all will come of course and polls of intentions are notoriously difficult but others may well come once their friends are installed.
Commenting on the poll, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch UK said:
“These figures suggest that the Migration Watch central estimate of 50,000 a year is distinctly cautious. Numbers suggested on the scale by this survey would make it impossible for the Government to sustain their target of tens of thousands, assuming they reach it by the end of the parliament.”
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