Harsh UK Immigration Plan amid Fear 'Half of Bulgaria and Romania' Will ComeBulgaria in EU | February 27, 2017, Monday // 12:26| views
File photo, EPA/BGNES
British Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly plans to suspend the right of EU nationals to live in the UK next month after a government source suggested "half of Romania and Bulgaria" might move to the UK before Brexit, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Pushed by the concern, May is poised to put an end to free movement for new EU migrants while triggering Brexit negotiations.
EU citizens traveling to Britain once Article 50 has been triggered will not have the right to stay in the UK permanently and will be subjected to migration curbs, according to the paper.
To the contrary, those who arrived before Article 50 was triggered will have their rights protected.
Alternatives for post-Article 50 migrants will include five-year working visas and restrictions in work benefits.
Last week, it was reported that the number of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants to Britain had reached an all-time high of 74 000, a figure up by 19 000 compared to 2015.
The figures came against the backdrop of a decline in net migration to the UK by September 2016, which stood at 273 000 people, a decrease by 49 000 compared to the same period of the year before. That meant immigration had fallen below the 300 000 mark for the first time in two years.
Bulgarians and Romanians were granted the right to work in the UK in January 2014, with the number of arrivals from both countries soaring since then.
As many as 3.6 million EU nationals live in the UK to date.
Some government officials believe the number will surge if the "cut-off" date is prolonged.
"We could end up with half of Romania and Bulgaria coming here if we wait that long," a government source is quoted as saying.
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