The number of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants to Britain has reached record levels. Most of European migrants arrived in the UK last year are from Romania and Bulgaria, new statistics released on Thursday reveal.
According to the UK Office for National Statistics, the annual net migration (immigrants minus emigration) fell below 300,000 last year for the first time since 2013, probably amid the Brexit vote Daily Express informs, quoted by ziare.com.
More than half of the EU migrants arriving in Britain during the year to last September came from Romania and Bulgaria, new figures revealed on Thursday, the source reads.
Specifically, migration dropped by 49,000 people last year, reaching 273,000, as statistics show for 12 months until September 2016.
But a record influx of 74,000 from the two former Eastern Bloc state meant Romanians and Bulgarians made up the majority of new arrivals from the EU in a 12-month period for the first time.
The quarterly border figures from the Office for National Statistics were the first to include any data recorded after Britain voted to leave the EU in last June’s referendum.
Campaigners welcomed the slight fall in overall net migration while warning that the BGovernment still had to significantly tighten border controls to bring the figure within its annual target of below 100,000.
Alp Mehmet, vice-chairman of the population think tank Migration Watch, said: “This is a step in the right direction. “There is still a net inflow from Eastern Europe, especially from Romania and Bulgaria.
“These workers are generally in low-paid employment so this is where our proposal for work permits confined to those coming for skilled work would have a very useful effect on EU migration,” Mehmet said.