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New A8 restrictions planned

May 20 2009
Home Secretary promises tighter controls on Eastern European migrants Britain is planning to slash the number of immigrants from new EU accession (A8) countries, in a clumsy attempt to avoid repeating the same mistakes it made with the wave of immigrants from Poland and the Baltic countries. A few months before Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union in 2007, meaning that their citizens will be allowed to travel freely over the EU, the Home Secretary, John Reid, called for "managed migration" and vowed to control the flow of immigrants in Britain "after a rush of immigration from the first round of Eastern European accession states." Many workers who came over to Britain when Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia joined the EU in 2005 were left on the streets due to an disorganised 'open doors' strategy by the government. This time, the Home Secretary has promised tighter controls. He said that the Home Office will "ensure that the immigration system is both effective and fair." In short, the government has decided to limit the jobs available to workers from Bulgaria and Romania with a Highly Skilled Migrant Programme. There are no real controls, however, on people from these countries travelling to the UK. John Reid said that "while the overall impact of immigration from Eastern Europe has had positive effects on the UK economy, some local authorities have reported problems of overcrowding in private housing."