The government's attitude to Romania and Bulgaria is contemptible - Spectator Blogs

28 January 2013

Pity the staff at the British embassy in Bucharest. Only last month they were cheerfully banging the drum for Great Britain, telling Romanians what a swell country this rain-soaked archipelago is. You see:

The GREAT campaign invites the world to take a fresh look at the UK, and is designed to promote Britain as one of the very best places to visit, live, work, study, invest and do business.

Oh dear. Time to reverse ferret.

Brother Forsyth reports that the government is so spooked by the appalling thought that plucky Romanians and enterprising Bulgars might think the United Kingdom a land of opportunity that they are considering a new advertising campaign targeting the EU’s newest members: Britain is crap. Don’t come here.

Evidently, the Tories and the Labour party are in a race to see who can pander to the lowest brand of nativist sentiment. This is a dismal prospect and one that, in a better world, might be thought unworthy of either party. James reports that the government is exploring every means available by which it can limit the rights of Romanians and Bulgars to come and work in the UK. Labour, apparently, wants to ‘bar recruitment agencies from hiring workers from Romania and Bulgaria.

There are several reasons why this is contemptible. First, there is the simple principle of equity. If we accept – nay, demand – that Britons should be able to work in any of the EU’s 27 member states then fairness demands those rights be available to the citizens of all countries, not just the wealthiest, most fortunate few.

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Moreover, it makes no sense for the Prime Minister to call for deepening, expanding and strengthening the single market (about which he is quite correct) while also seeking to install protectionist policies designed to impede the working of the single labour market. Freedom of movement is a principle worth defending. The EU’s eastward expansion has been a great boon for liberty and opportunity in eastern Europe. It is depressing to realise that a British government now seeks to curtail those valuable freedoms.

Again, if Britain demands protectionism in the movement of workers, it becomes harder for the UK to object to other countries’ protectionist impulses on other matters. The price of “winning” on economic migration may be “losing” in areas Britain considers important.

In any case, Romania and Bulgaria are members of the club now and, as such, deserve the rights and privileges extended to other members. EU-expansion has been a British policy aim for years. Now it has been achieved the British government seeks to impose third-class membership upon those new states. This cannot be fair or reasonable.

This is an opportunity for Britain to make friends and allies with the newer EU members. But why should they be expected to listen sympathetically to British concerns on any number of European issues if the British government makes it clear that their people are not welcome in the United Kingdom?

As for the threat of local communities being “swamped”, well, does it matter where the “new arrivals” come from? We are told that objections to the free movement of workers are twofold: first, they make life harder for “indigenous” British workers and second, they put intolerable pressure on local services.

Perhaps they do – though the extent to which this is the case is, actually, often exaggerated (not least because many migrant workers return home after a few years away. They are not permanent residents). But suppose, just for the sake of argument, 70,000 Geordies decided to move to Norfolk in search of work. The impact upon Norfolk of that kind of internal migration would be just as great as any putative Romanian invasion. Should Geordies be “capped” too? And if not, why not? Because the principle of the argument is broadly the same.

Migration is migration and in terms of local services and local labour markets it makes little difference whether that migration is from internal or external sources. British cities attract workers from beyond the city limits and have done so for ages. The only difference between a Scotsman taking advantage of London’s noble prospect and a Pole doing so too is their ethnicity. Their impact on and usefulness to London is just the same.

Of course, we’ve been here before. No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs. But I’d kinda hoped we might have moved beyond that these days. Perhaps we have but if so the difference, increasingly, seems one of degree not kind. So, yes, the government’s attitude towards european workers is as stupid as it is contemptible.

That’s the way the wind is blowing, however, and I expect that anti-immigrant sentiment will trump British traditions of fairness, openness and opportunity that, once more, will be subordinated to grubby political expediency.

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  • CristinaB

    So much “tolerance” from a country which presumes it has multiculturalism embedded in its roots. I can’t help but wonder WHY the British feel this constant need to look down on Romanians? Is this how they boost their sense of superiority, by discriminating?

  • MysticYaz

    The Illuminati are behind the EU, merchants of death and destruction. They control the world and are rich through exploitation. Thank the Rothschilds and the banking bloodline parasites. Hopefully they will get the just desserts before they all die off.

  • Daniel

    It is quite sad to see the country, which advertised the Olympics as the great sign of friendship and brotherhood among nations, go in such direction. Anyways, I understand the concerns of the British and I can see why they fear for their jobs, pensions, safety etc. It is perfectly reasonable to be afraid of competition and a further financial burden when economic problems arise. However, I do not understand why so many people seem to think that Britain is the only country paying for the “new immigrants”?

    Bulgaria (where I live and will continue to live, don’t be afraid, for I in particular am not aiming for your job) had to fulfill a multitude of demands by the European nations in order to get accepted in the “club”:

    1. We were FORCED to decrease by half the production of nuclear electrical energy, produced in our ONLY nuclear power plant (for comparison France has about 50 such plants, all functional to this day). There were no reasons given for this, the nuclear power plant was proven to be in perfect shape, it was just one of the main conditions for us to join. Now, (and by now I mean the last 7 or so years) we have been buying electricity from Europe, even if we have the capacity to produce it ourselves and to actually export twice as much as we currently do. Also, with this move the interests of Russia have been significantly hurt in the area and of course we were the ones who had to absorb the impact of the hurt Russian…

    2. We had to open our borders and economy for all European producers and supermarket chains. This act of not protecting our interests simply crashed our local economies due to the dumping prices, virtually unlimited funding capabilities for advertising, placement and market invasion of all major players who simply put small and middle Bulgarian enterprises out of business. And I mean by the numbers! Not to mention the bribing power of such chains against which no local market or public official can resist or compete. I don’t remember any campaign when they came and wiped out my business and took my job! Not because of a better product, but because of economies of scale. And there was no one to protect us, the way you want to protect yourselves now. Only it was “free market” and “European values” back than – now you do not want it to be THAT free when we attempt come over and try our luck on your soil! Well, your companies should not have wiped our business out, maybe you should ask them!

    3. Housing prices have gone massively up in a bubble until 2008 because of all foreign investment and countless real estate companies, who sell the “retiree dream” to Western Europeans.

    4. All the foreign companies keep wage structures significantly lower than similar positions in Britain, while in the same time providing service to British and European customers. Not to mention unpaid overtime just for the sake of company culture and keeping a satisfied British/German customer! Forgot to say that in order to work for your companies we need to know not only your language, but German as well. How good is your German? Or your Bulgarian? Learning two or three foreign languages doesn’t come cheap, you know? And it takes time.

    5. All nonsense investment for the sake of investment and speculation (coming from the City financial criminals) has led to absolutely ridiculous projects which have destroyed nature and communities and actually worsened the quality of life (e.g. seaside, mountain resorts).

    6. We had to also give up our financial independence about 15 years ago, when we introduced a currency board and our currency was pegged to the DM, later to the EUR. So, we are both pegged to an appreciated currency (something no one wants during a crisis), and in the same time we are actually not using the currency itself! So this way we can pay the banks for transaction fees much, much more than if we were actually using the EUR.

    7. Speaking of the banks – we don’t have any anymore! All of our banks, with a partial exception of a select few, are actually not Bulgarian! They are Greek, Austrian, German, Italian, Hungarian, French. So, not only do we lack any power over our currency positioning and have to just accept what the ECB does, but we also do not control any of the major banks, operating in Bulgaria! Isn’t that just great?

    I can write for hours, but let me sum it up – our politicians gave to YOUR politicians virtually all the power over our energy, money supply system, financial system, retail and distribution system and opened the door for your manufacturers without providing any protection for our local business. As a result thousand of people simply lost what they had when this deluge came upon them and now they want to clean your toilet. And probably wash your car. They might also want to repair it. And you say “Piss off, poor bastards! You are not wanted ’cause you are poor and have to actually immigrate in the search for a better future. How pathetic of you! You gave us nothing, but want from us all our benefits!”

    It’s funny thing politics. Especially, its memory. It seems to vanish periodically and then we start talking again. What is also funny is that we can and actually watch the Premiership over here. Every time. Even the useless Capital One cup games. And what we see every time behind Sir Alex are the Bangladeshi, Indian or Pakistani guys at Old Trafford. They are there every single game. And they are treated with respect. Front seats, right next to the Knight of the British Empire. As are Asians, Africans, rich Russians (you guys seem to particularly like the presence of those, don’t you?) and Americans. And this is what stings us the most – we are so much more like you than they are due to our common European cultural heritage, religion, ethnicity, history (and not being part of your empire certainly helps liking you more then Indians and Pakistani might like you). You embrace all of these immigrants, but reject us? Are we so different than any other immigrant in the UK? Or do you actually see yourselves in us – what you might become if you did not have all the political, military and financial power to impose your will to other nations?

    We used to actually look up to you as one looks up to a big brother, we wanted to learn how to make a better world, as you did. Only to find you didn’t actually make a better world. It was just advertising when times were easy. We only now awaking to realize we were never really wanted at all, what you wanted you now have – our resources, markets, savings, lands, banks, energy and financial independence, aspirations and minds. And we fell for it. And you have them now. Or shall I say “for now”. Bulgarians will start coming back to their land when they realize what you offer. A shitty-pipe dream that is. Dignity will overcome propaganda and the love of money. Dignity was that thing we used to associate the word “British” with. Remember that one?

    • Cath

      Great answer, mate! Very detailed, but it’s a drop in the sea. They look at us, Bulgarians, like we’re the scum of Europe. The EU stripped our country bare and gave no benefits to our rights. We’re still at the bottom of the ladder for no reason whatsoever and the uneducated, prejudiced masses will always see us as threat number one to use in their pathetic political campaigns.

  • rndtechnologies786

    Your think is positive.

  • Neil

    Things are changing and not only for unskilled workers and not just in Europe.

    In the last couple of years I have seen first hand British Citizens unable to obtain employment in Canada, New Zealand or Australia.

    Employers explain that the candidate does not have “New Zealand Banking experience” or “a Canadian Engineering background”.

    Australian government departments explain that Security Clearance is required “just to enter the federal government building” and unfortunately unless you have been an Australian Citizen for 10 years Clearance will not be granted.

    It is easy to become frustrated. Talking to friends who are “real” Canadians, Kiwis or Australians about the barriers going up is too sad.

    “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

  • paulusdebierkabouter

    A. Massie:

    “…there is the simple principle of equity. If we accept – nay, demand – that Britons should be able to work in any of the EU’s 27 member states then fairness demands those rights be available to the citizens of all countries…”
    I’m lucky enough to live in another EU member state, and it wouldn’t occur to me to question their right to throw me out if it suited their needs. We accept – nay, demand – that every country be allowed to determine for itself who may and who may not settle in it. What’s inequitable about that?

    • paulusdebierkabouter

      And, while I’m on the subject,

      A. Massie:
      “Moreover, it makes no sense for the Prime Minister to call for deepening, expanding and strengthening the single market (about which he is quite correct) while also seeking to install protectionist policies designed to impede the working of the single labour market.”

      Free trade doesn’t depend on the free movement of people.

      A. Massie:
      “As for the threat of local communities being “swamped”, well, does it matter where the “new arrivals” come from?…But suppose…70,000 Geordies decided to move to Norfolk in search of work. The impact upon Norfolk of that kind of internal migration would be just as great as any putative Romanian invasion….the principle of the argument is broadly the same.”

      No, it isn’t. It’s one of the defining characteristics of a nation that populations can move within it without social disruption. (The other is that, however much you disagree with its collective decisions, they don’t feel as if they’ve been imposed from outside.) None of your 70,000 ‘immigrants’ is going to form a Geordie ghetto. Within one generation, they will consider themselves to be Norfolkians – or whatever they call themselves – and be indistinguishable from their neighbours.

      • Fak_Zakaix

        Then UK needs to leave the EU and form a custom union with EU counties as Turkey does.

    • Fak_Zakaix

      You live and work freely in a EU country as a British national because Britain is a member of the EU otherwise you will need a work permit.

      • paulusdebierkabouter

        Fine. How does that get to be a problem? As I said, ” We …demand that every country be allowed to determine for itself who may and who may not settle in it.”

  • alex

    Rather than cleaning up the benefits system so only people who really
    need it can get it, British government pick up on foreigners. The problem is not the foreigners, the problem is the abuse and the corruption inside the benefits system.

    I am a Romanian living in UK for 10 years already and I want out of this country. The level of discussion and the arguments are simply unacceptable. Sort out your issues (get out of EU if you feel like, split from Scotland, restrict immigration- i dont care) and then I’ll consider coming back based on the new setup. What happens now is simply disgusting.

    PS: when I leave I will ask for a refund for all the recoverable taxes I’ve paid during 10 years (about 150K pounds). Pay benefits with your own money!

  • Victor

    This is just a provocative article about EU membership. The UK is afraid about the banking system and they use really low subjects life about Bulgarian and Romanian citizenship to hide the real problem. Hi 5!

  • fitz fitzgerald

    Has Mary Beard been up to Boston, East Anglia, yet to seek the Truth – as all good academics do – about immigrant impact on such locales ?

  • fitz fitzgerald

    … Romanians and East Euros are already over represented within deviant, criminal groups here … they top the list in London … it seems absurd to continue to import a ready made criminal underclass as part of a great unrequired surge .

  • seb

    I’m a bit confused about the rise of xenophobia in the UK and other western European countries. Maybe it’s because I live in a country that embraces people with different backgrounds. It might even be the fact that I met some very pleasant British people who would never say some of the things that were said here.

    Empirical studies actually suggest that these politicized anxieties about economic and
    fiscal drains caused by immigration are baseless. Yes, there are some costs associated with groups competing for low-skilled labour, however if you look at other countries you will see that these impacts are very modest. In fact, immigration has been shown to have a net positive impact on host nations. In the US for example, immigrants contribute as much as $10 billion in net benefits to the native population.

    I suggest that some of you educate yourselves on the subject of immigration and wake up to the realities of today’s times because it doesn’t seem like you are any less backwards than some of these eastern European nations. We live in a complex, interconnected world where policies need to be dictated by careful analyses of alternatives and recommendations, not xenophobic ideologies.

    • Cornelius

      There may be benefits but they are certainly not evenly distributed. do you think working class people in London have greatly benefitted from immigration?

      • Victor

        If Londoners did not, then how come they are the richest!?

        • Cornelius

          Are working class londoners better off than those in other parts of the country? if so why are they moving out en masse? like I said, it the are not evenly distributed, and London has some of the richest and poorest areas in the UK.

          • Victor

            I agree but this applies to all cities and all nations. It’s too political to put such problems to be caused by Bulgarians and Romanians. Moreover, by keeping the current status they will just continue working illegally. My personal belief is most migration already happened and now is just political move connected to the EU referendum.

    • Aaron Jeethan

      The benefits of mass immigration go purely to the establishment. Capitalists get so swamped by applicants for the low paid work that they can drop wages even further, massively impacting on the living standard of the British working class. The left support this because they believe immigrants are more likely to vote for their side of the political spectrum. If you can’t get enough votes to form a government why not elect a new people? Everybody wins. Except for those who have to live with the effects of immigration, most often the poorest in society.

      Mass immigration is just class war by the rich on the poor. If we had a million conservative-voting foreign lawyers and social workers heading to Britain for new lives you can bet that smug capitalists and middle-class liberals would quickly dream up ways of stopping them.

      • Dan

        in that case, mate, maybe you’d feel better in North Korea. I am quite sure you’ll be insulated from all the negative effects of capitalism and you’ll never have to fear the threat of mass immigration again.

    • Trofim

      “Maybe it’s because I live in a country that embraces people with different backgrounds”. I know one gains a sort of feeling of control by titillating others. Is there some reason you don’t want us to know which one? Let me have a guess – mmm – Pakistan? Perhaps not. But it definitely isn’t England, which in 2008 became the most densely populated major country in the most densely populated continent on the planet, and which already has to import over 40% of its food, and is going to have to build umpteen Birminghams to house the population already here..

  • Cornelius

    people who really care about the working people in this country are not in favour of immigration. people who really want to see development in poorer countries are not in favour of immigration. The only people who actually benefit are the elite., the Middle and lower classes bear the brunt,.

  • MikeF

    What a load of complacent tosh. If there were likely to be roughly equal flows of people between the UK and and countries like Romania and Bulgaria then Mr Massie’s argument might have some merit. But that is not the case and he knows it. He also, one presumes, lives somewhere that won’t be affected by any such influx – except possibly the behind the counter staff at his local winebar.

    • Trofim

      I think you’ll find that Mr Massie has got a little, or big, place in the Scottish borders, though he might also have a little, or big, place in London too. I might be wrong, but I have a feeling that the Scottish Borders is an area still awaiting extensive enrichment by halal butchers. There is, however, lots of open space available for the 10 or 12 new Birminghams we are going to have to build. Sorry, I amend that – the indefinite number of Birminghams we are going to have to build.

  • Fak_Zakaix

    Spot on.

  • Tim

    That’s why I want out mate – I don’t want unrestricted immigration.

    We’ve lost control of our borders. Welfare state, NHS, schools and all entitlements etc were all designed in a period of immigration control. The social contract between government and governed is being destroyed.

    Better off out.

  • Noa

    What s the difference between freedom of movement, mass immigration and hostile invasion?
    I don’t recall the people of Lincolnshire being consulted about sharing their county with 50,000 plus Poles, or Roumanians, Bulgarians or Turks or indeed the people of England and Wales being consulted about Labours 5 million plus Tether immigrants.

    And equally they have no desire to move to Bucharest or Armenia or Islamabad, because the reciprocal opportunities, or facilities and culture simply don’t exist there.

    Do you want to go there Alex? No, thought not.

    As the primary beneficiaries of mass migrant exploitation, the odd combination of marxist ideologists and international corporations cynically exploit “British traditions of fairness, openness and opportunity”, to create innumerable, hostile urban third world ghettoes and regional diasporas. The real price of such labour is not the maintenance of a low minimum wage, but actual poverty, civil unrest and blood, paid by the ordinary men and women of England as they oppose being reduced to just another ethnic minority in their own country.

  • Bob Thomas

    The thought of a propaganda campaign to discourage Romanian and Hungarian people from coming to Britain is a stupid, horrible, hateful idea. But the fact that the government now acts in this babyish fashion is not only a sign of their ignorance (to put it very mildly indeed!) but also their profound impotence. As is identified in your piece, immigration is an issue about which many people feel quite strongly, but their voices will not be heard in Westminster because the government long-ago ceded control of our border to the European Union.

    However, I do not understand why you seek to deny that English people and Romanians people may be different in important ways – language and culture are the two things that spring most readily to mind. I can only ask if you would deny that there is such a thing as a common national identity rooted in a sense of place, custom and tradition?

    So, we can agree that this particular government action is the height of stupidity, but to elide fears about the negative social consequences of mass immigration is unworthy. Moreover, the costs are often shared by both immigrants and natives: lower wages, higher housing prices, higher taxes and more stress on local hospitals, doctors and education services (I think we can probably agree that these costs are short term, but when the mass immigration continues, wave after wave, and the immigrants are not compelled to become natives, the negative social impact is real). As in your hypothetical example about Geordies moving to Norfolk, you are right to say that the arrival of large numbers of people, from whatever background, would cause strain. But, provided there was not a continual influx of people to the same area, adding to the strain, the Geordies could become as much a part of the local community as anyone else. The problem is compounded, however, if there is low economic growth, too many people competing for too few jobs and the Geordies, who have even fewer prospects in the North, continue to arrive regardless. In that circumstance, I would have thought the best thing to do would be to stilulate demand in the North through trade and investment. I also doubt the efficacy of depriving the North of exactly the kinds of people who are most likely to have the energy and the ideas to grow the local economy.

    Managed transfers of people, balanced by social and economic circumstance is likely to be very beneficial. A completely unmanaged system wherein the government cannot plan for how many people are likely to arrive because they do not know is likely to create the kind of shared fears and anomonsities the government should seek to diffuse.

    • Grrr8

      A Gosplan fan Bob? Maybe it would be better to let the markets “plan” migration. You also seem to believe in the lump of labour fallacy and that wages go down due to immigration. This is true for certain groups for short periods but is not a mass phenomenon.

      Your point on govt impotence is very good and I fully agree with it. This would be true whichever party was in power. It would be better if the govt owned up to that and focused on things they could control (like increasing planning permission to build houses) instead of trying to reduce migration by running churlish ad campaigns.

      • Bob Thomas

        I hadn’t heard of Gosplan. Wikipedia tells me it was a Soviet programme, so I can safely say, no, not a fan. Reading over that last paragraph I can see how it could be easily misinterpreted. It does not say what I meant, especially the part about ‘managed transfers of people’. No. What I meant was essentially: ‘Britain should control its own border’. What they do in Australian or Canadian is probably about right.

        However, we agree on the main point. The British government has already handed decision-making power over immigration policy to the European Union, so it makes little difference what you or I think because is not something over which we can have any (even tangential) influence. Instead, the government threatens (they haven’t actually done this yet have they?) stupid stunts.

        • Grrr8

          Gosplan was the Soviet planning system 😉

          Interestingly enough, the Blair govt did introduce a mostly Aus/Can type system for non-EU migrants. It was probably a bit too open for the British public at first, but it was tightened significantly towards the end of their time in power. The first thing the Tories did was to terminate most of Labour’s work and go back to a quota type system.

          Another relevant point about a points system is that it inevitably leads to fewer old commmonwealth and American migrants and more Indian/ Chinese/ Russian migrants (something which the public is probably uneasy with). This is simply because educated wealthy old commonwealth/ American citizens have good opps at home relative to what is available to them in Britain (the average Australian nanny would not qualify under the points system). The home choices are not so good for Indians/ Chinese/ Russians. Most of the migrants into Australia and Canada are from the third world. It would not be any different in the UK.

          The short story on all of this is that there are no perfect outcomes with immigration! Nobody will be fully satisfied.

    • Noa

      “Managed transfers of people, balanced by social and economic circumstance is likely to be beneficial.”

      Ye gods! A central planner who knows what’s best for us, do you work in Brussels Party HQ?

  • Dogsnob

    “If we accept – nay, demand – that Britons should be able to work in any of the EU’s 27 member states…”
    Who’s this ‘we’? I don’t accept or demand anything of the sort. It – as with all else in the EU – is not about what I might want; it is about what the dictatorship thinks is best and what the greenfield elite deem suitable for our urban populations to endure.

    • Noa

      Yes, the reality is armies of destitute lumpen proles moved around the plains of Europe to cut beet and turnips in season and live in squalor on benefits in between.

      Not quite Mr Massie’s soviet style vision of flower garlanded trains of mittel europeans arriving on trains in time of the summer grain harvest and singing party songs as the sun beams down.

  • LB

    . If we accept – nay, demand – that Britons should be able to work in any of the EU’s 27 member states then fairness demands those rights be available to the citizens of all countries, not just the wealthiest, most fortunate few.


    So why don’t you dip your hand in your pocket, and make up the difference between what they consume in government spending, and what they pay in tax?

    Ah yes, you demand that other people pick up the bill, but you won’t fund those who are an economic burden on others.

  • Stan moorcroft

    At last a sensible article about labour migration, should be of concern to anyone like my self on the left that you have to go to the Spectator to find it.

  • General Waste

    Good stuff. How come it’s always immigration that let’s down the right’s arguments about liberty and freedom? Freedom of movement is as important to any notion of liberty as anything else.

    Also capitalism needs freedom of movement. The American right always seems to overlook this inconvenient fact – get the Mexicans out, we’ll pick our own crops, tend our own gardens and clean our own homes.

    • LB

      And what about the freedom of people not to have to pay for migration?

      Hence my view, no migration if your don’t pay more than your fair share of tax. ie. The average government spend per person.

      Migration is optional. The UK can choose whether or not to have migrants.

  • Grrr8

    The ad campaign idea has striking parallels with Leicester councils advertisements placed in Ugandan newspapers telling Asians that “conditions in Leicester were terrible and they are thus advised to go elsewhere.” In both cases we have groups with a legal right to work in Britain but are not “English” by race or culture. The government, unable to use the law to stop them, stoops to propaganda. Hopefully someone cottons on to this parallel and kills the ad campaign.

  • Eddie

    We definitely need a campaign to discourage immigrants from coming here – because the BBC, the British Council, all our state-funded government and local council organisations, are all doing the opposite, namely promoting the idea to the world that we all in the UK simply love multiculturalism and want more and more immigrants to come here (which is why so many travel through mainland Europe from Asia and Africa to come here).
    I have nothing against these people personally, but immigration brings no net benefits and has serious and negative societal and economic repercussions, and stores even more up for the future.

    • Cath

      Really? I’ll tell you a little story… I’m Bulgarian, currently I’m a student in Glasgow. I’ve spent more than 30,000 pounds in the past 3.5 years on a variety of goods and services in Scotland, from British Airways to rent, to food, and so on. This, for a student on a low income is no net benefits to your country? Multiply that by a thousand… or however many thousand international students come to Glasgow University alone for a 4 year period.
      I’m educated, young, and have qualifications. Same with all my Romanian and Bulgarian friends here. We’re not gypsies, we’re not criminals, and we pay our taxes.Actually you should want us here. I personally speak 4 languages. How many do you know, dear Eddie?
      We’re in the EU! Either you (Britons) leave it, or stop restricting other EU members illegally. Finally, take a look around, you’re packed with immigrants.. most of whom are indian… Would you say anything against them, or would that be simply racist?

      • David

        I agree with you Cath.. I was born and raised in the UK I am English, Not Pakistan, Bulgarian or any other nationality I have worked in the UK all my life up until 2007 when after 12 years in a job I got laid off without warning and no compensation.

        I decided to leave the UK at that point and ended up in Bulgaria.

        I have lived here for almost 6 years now. I know the names of my neighbours and a few other people in the Village I live in. I have never felt so involved and safe in any place I have live. The Bulgarian people are a kind, friendly and very helpful. I have never been persecuted or put down because I am English. Its like a breath of fresh air.

        I also know how hard it is to live over here and why some Bulgarian decide to leave there homeland to look for work especially when the average wage is lower than £200 a month. Especially when they are paying UK prices for food and petrol over here.

        The UK do not realise that the more so called immigrants that work in the UK the more chance they have and keeping there pensions and wonderful health care because almost all the Bulgarians that want to go to the UK (which isn’t that many) want to work and that means paying into the system and that in turn helps pay for the Hospitals, pensions an best of all the lazy buggers on the Dole.
        Also most of the Bulgarians I know all say ” why would I want to go to the UK. the people over there victimise immigrants, Germay, france Switzerland are much better prospect and the people welcome you ..
        Say now more….

    • Jon Danzig

      Eddie says that ‘immigration brings no net benefits’… According to research by UCL’s ‘Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, in the past ten years EU migrants have made a net contribution to government funds of about £22 billion.

      According to another report by IPPR this month, like other migrants from eastern Europe, most Romanians and Bulgarians currently in the UK are
      younger and healthier than the UK population as a whole. They are also more likely to be in work and paying taxes and less likely to be drawing benefits.

      Concluded the IPPR report, ‘Free movement is a vital driver of growth and prosperity in Europe and benefits all member states, including the UK.. Last minute unilateral actions taken in an atmosphere of panic and fear mongering are no way to approach this issue.’

  • shzhszz

    And what about British people maybe we are fed up with mass immigration that puts house prices up, raises unemployment and allows foreigners to claim benefits.

    Sign this petition to restrict Bulgarian and Romanians from entering the UK:

    • Grrr8

      You and the other 9000+ people are fed up. You don’t speak for the remaining 60m or so Britons.

      • Wessex Man

        Yea but yea, how many do you speak for and about what speak?

      • LB

        Except we aren’t allowed a say.

        e.g EU referenda? Do as you are told,your a Pleb. Milliband and Clegg in a nutshell. Cameron only because he’s been forced to that position.

        • Grrr8

          We have had and will have elections where we are given a say in whom we vote for. Different parties have taken different positions on the EU and immigration. The choices are not restricted to Cameron/ Clegg/ Miliband.

          We have the much beloved UKIP who would like to exit one and end the other. Unfortunately for the supporters of UKIP, they are in a minuscule minority in Britain. They lose at the (general election) ballot box and hence scream for referenda which undermine our democracy.

          • LB

            Nope. You have a say in the choice of MP.

            You have no say in policy.

            eg. Vote lib dem, get tuition fees.

            • Grrr8

              By that logic we may as well just eliminate parliament and run the govt. by referendum. Then all policy (and our relationship w/ the EU is policy) can be decided directly by the voters.

              • LB

                Would be a good thing

              • Neil

                Representative democracy is clearly failing. Our representatives are too easy to “buy off” (both Labor and Tory). Too easy for our MPs to be unaccountable.

                Annual general elections would be an excellent place to start (see: “People’s Charter” in 1838).

              • Neil

                “Annual parliaments, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since though a constituency might be bought once in seven years (even with the ballot), no purse could buy a constituency (under a system of universal suffrage) in each ensuing twelve-month; and since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now.”

                Wise words

                • InBonobo

                  That’s rather silly. Politicians would still be bought yearly or before every vote, the prices would just be proportionally lower. Corporations do not buy politicians for life, but rather INFLUENCE VOTES via lobbyists. Yearly politicos would still vote, would they not?

                  The problem is representative democracy. A step in the right direction is direct democracy. The solution is no government.

      • Noa

        Neither do you.

    • Victor

      EU is a treaty which should provide equal opportunities and rights! Having said that, no one speaks about the advantages which British corporations and citizen have over poorer Eastern countries and making large profits. For me, this whole petition is pure racism.

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