news 08 Jan 13

UK Rightists Oppose Opening Border to Bulgaria, Romania

UK Independence Party says it will campaign hard against lifting restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians working in Britain in 2014.

The leader of Britain’s rightwing UK Independence Party, which has seen a recent surge in support in the polls, says it would be “irresponsible” to open British borders to Bulgarians and Romanians from next year.

Bulgarians and Romanians will gain the unrestricted right to live and work in the UK from December 2013, when temporary curbs imposed in 2005 to protect the British labour market expire.

Nigel Farage said his party will campaign hard against Britain opening the doors to 29 million migrants from “the very poor countries of Bulgaria and Romania”, not just for work, but for social security, too.

Farage disputed claims that the UK hotel and food processing sectors relied on workers from former Iron Curtain countries, saying: “These industries have been operating for hundreds of years without an open-door policy.”

The statement came a day after British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain will demand new restrictions to keep out so-called “benefit” tourists from the EU and elsewhere, seeking access to welfare.

The Prime Minister said only working immigrants should be allowed into Britain, even if it meant undermining the EU's key principle of “free movement”.

Cameron, the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, is battling to halt a marked rise in support for UKIP, as Farage’s party is usually known, which is splitting the right-wing electorate.

Some recent polls have put UKIP on about 15 per cent of the vote. This puts them above the Liberal Democrats, traditionally the third force in British politics and currently governing in coalition with the Conservatives.

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