Parliamentarians discuss potential migration from Bulgaria and Romania in 2014

3 Apr 2013

On 20 March 2013, the APPG on Migration's roundtable on potential migration from Bulgaria and Romania brought together key cross-party parliamentarians as well as local government representatives and key experts.

Transitional accession restrictions affecting Romanian and Bulgarian ('A2') nationals will end on 31 December 2013, granting A2 nationals the same rights to work in the UK as other European Union nationals. The UK government will also close two work schemes aimed at A2 nationals within the agricultural and food processing sectors

The meeting reviewed the latest analysis of potential migration patterns from Romania and Bulgaria to the UK from 2014, debating the anticipated impacts of these changes. It explored the lessons that can be learned from previous patterns of EU migration to the UK, and used the opportunity to discuss how local and national government, as well as wider communities, can plan ahead for 2014 in order to support positive outcomes for all concerned.

Lord Roger Roberts, who chaired the meeting, said "we know A2 migrants are coming into full membership, unrestricted to the European Union, so we need to analyse the potential patterns of migration from these countries. The main issue on the doorstep at elections is Europe and immigration and we all have our opinions about them but we need to start building a cross-party consensus on how we should deal with any potential impacts and all decisions should always be based on good empirical evidence." 

In September 2012, Jack Dromey MP, the chair of the APPG, was on Newsnight discussing the issues around the exploitation of Romanian workers already in the UK; he argued that the last government had begun to equip itself with the capacity to fight against labour exploitation, when it set up the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) in 2006. The GLA had the potential to bring proper regulation to the industry which provides casual labour to employers but recent reforms of the system has weakened its remit

So far, MPs in the House of Commons have spoken in two debates on the potential migration from A2 nations. A Westminster Hall Debate in December 2012  explored the potential impacts on public services and employment. Another debate took place in March 2013 after an urgent question from MPs on the need to restrict welfare to A2 migrants who arrive in the UK after 2014. Backbench MPs have also secured a further debate on 22 April 2013 on potential migration from Romania and Bulgaria after an e-petition gained enough support to debate the issue. 

Further material

  1. You can listen to and read the briefing paper of the APPG roundtable debate here.
  2. Read the Daily Telegraph (£) report on the roundtable here
  3. Watch Jack Dromey MP discuss Romanian migrant workers on Newsnight here

Parliamentary round-table debates immigration across the UK: how do we ensure no-one is left behind?

28 Jan 2013

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration Immigration to the UK over the past decade has had diverse and substantial effects on communities and economies across the UK. However, debate about the regional effects of migration is often undermined by the lack of clear information indicating the benefits and costs of migration for the UK's countries and regions.

The meeting examined new data from the 2011 census and look at who the UK's migrants are and the character of their contribution to local labour markets, public services and housing stocks. Parliamentarians explored how the UK can celebrate the benefits of migration over recent years, and how its costs can best be alleviated to ensure that wider communities are not left behind.

The panel included Gavin Barwell MP (Con)Pete Wishart MP (SNP), and Baroness Hussein-Ece (Lib Dem).The round-table was also bolstered by immigration experts and local campaigners including Dr Scott Blinder (Migration Observatory) and Zrinka Bralo (The Forum) as well as Cllr Paul Kenny (Boston Council)

APPG on Migration launches an inquiry into family migration rules

20 Nov 2012

A group of cross-party MPs and peers have joined forces today to launch an inquiry into the impacts of new rules on family migration.

The inquiry, coordinated by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration and chaired by Shadow Equalities Minister Kate Green MP, will explore the impacts of rules which came into force in July 2012. The rule changes have made it more difficult to bring close family members to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

In particular, the inquiry will look at the new requirement that people wishing to sponsor spouses and partners from outside the (EEA) show minimum earnings of £18,600 per year. The government estimates that thousands of families where one person is a British citizen or settled here will be prevented from being reunited in the UK every year as a result.

Kate Green MP, the chair of the family inquiry said: “It's important for the government to manage family migration fairly. The inquiry's aim is to review current policy on family reunification by understanding the real-life impact that the recent changes have had on individuals across the country. We will consider how far the changes could hamper policies that promote family life in the UK, which is an essential element of strong and integrated communities. The cross-party group will, in particular, look into the impact the new immigration rules have had on spouses and children since July 2012.”


What are the challenges in keeping the UK an attractive destination for students in the future?

19 Nov 2012

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration and Universities UK are organising a roundtable debate on migration and international students on 28 November 2012. This meeting will explore the conditions for international students coming to take part in the UK's further and higher education sectors.

Is the current framework for offering and delivering a worthwhile deal to international students fit for purpose? How could education and immigration policy better fit the interests and concerns of international students? And what will be the challenges in keeping the UK an attractive destination for students into the future?

The meeting will bring together key cross-party parliamentarians and experts to provide different perspectives on the interests of international students in the UK, and how they could be better met by policy and planning.

It will be addressed by the Rt Hon Charles Kennedy MP, Nadhim Zahawi MP, and Shadow Universities Minister Shabana Mahmood MP. The meeting will be chaired by Jack Dromey MP with further contributions from Vice-Chancellor of UEA Professor Edward Action and President of the NUS Liam Burns.