Higher Pay, Not Benefits Lure Migrants to UK - Conservative MPBulgaria in EU | December 20, 2013, Friday // 16:37| views
Meanwhile, the negative campaign against Bulgarians and Romanians is persisting in the UK over fears of an influx after all labor market restrictions are lifted at the beginning of 2014. File photo
Higher pay rather than benefits are attracting migrants to the UK, a Conservative MP has argued amid fears of an influx of Bulgarian and Romanian workers as of the beginning of the new year.
"My experience of immigrants is they come here to work [and] they work hard," Conservative John Baron said, as cited by BBC.
He was speaking in a debate on the so-called rebel amendment to the UK Immigration Bill, which would ban Romanian and Bulgarian migrants until 2019.
John Baron warned that the government's benefit changes could "risk feeding a minority of people's views and prejudices about immigrants" and that pay was a more significant factor.
The debate has been prompted by a group of backbench Conservative MPs who want the restrictions to be extended.
It has the backing of Conservatives Nigel Mills, Peter Bone, Philip Hollobone and David Ruffley, and Democratic Unionist Sammy Wilson.
Nigel Mills, the Conservative MP who masterminded the amendment, told the Sunday Telegraph that there was "great concern" among his colleagues about a repeat of the previous influx of eastern European migrants, when there were no restrictions and one million moved to the UK.
The expected influx of tens of thousands of job-seekers from the two countries next year would be a major strain for the economy "when we have still got a lot of people desperate for work who can't find it" in Britain, he said.
The MPs are among more than 70 who have put their names to an amendment to the Immigration Bill that would extend the "transitional provisions" that have applied to Bulgaria and Romania since they joined the EU in 2007, BBC pointed out.
The provisions restrict some rights of Romanians and Bulgarians to work in EU member states, but do not curb travel within the EU.