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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Comments

Gabriel M.

It's going to be fun when the UK will discover that it's not the desirable paradise it imagines itself to be and finds itself snubbed by Romanian workers which have a distinct Latin sensibility (Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc.)

As for myself... I dream of one day attending a MSc programme in the UK... EU accession means that tuition fees are about half their equivalents for non-EU students... but they're still high.

Lafayette

GM: " ... and finds itself snubbed by Romanian workers"

Yeah, right. In your dreams.

If Romanians immigrate to find work it is because Romania can not provide jobs. If Romania cannot create sufficient employment, that's the fault of who?

Ceausescu has been dead for 16 years ...

jon livesey

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, people don't immigrate to the UK because the UK "imagines" itself to be anything in particular, but because *they* decide that it's an attractive place to migrate to.

happyjuggler0

So long as all the other older (i.e relatively rich) EU countries don't do the same thing, then overall the UK's partial ban ought to have virtually zero economic effect in the UK or in the rest of the EU, nor for Bulgarians or Romanians.

Why not? Because for most intents and purposes low skill immigrants are fungible and the employment market will simply arbitrage. Ban Romanians from going to the UK, they might go to Italy instead. If Italy sees more Romanians than it otherwise would have, this makes things a bit harder for immigrants from Poland for example, who may then go to the UK. Poof, it's a wash.

Granted this is s simplification, but however the arbitrage works out, reast assured it will arbitrage. With any luck, once the "Christmas rush" out of Bulgaria and Romania roughly plays itself out, some intelligent MP will write an article in the FT explaining what I just explained, and then the UK will end its red tape foolishness.

So aside from some people not gettig to live in the same city as some of their long time friends, the UK policy is simply a mindless, hysterical, big to-do about nothing with no real macro economic consequences.

Lafayette

"people don't immigrate to the UK because the UK "imagines" itself to be anything in particular, but because *they* decide that it's an attractive place to migrate to."

Furthermore, people who "migrate" do not stay wherever they migrate to. Immigration is a definitive act of changing countries and adopting a second as permanent residence. Birds migrate, but people tend to immigrate.

Has this been happening? For the most part, yes. Only a minority return to their countries of origin over a period of not less than 10 years and even fewer beyond 20 years of residence.

The consequence of this is that they are expected to assimilate within the country of destination where they pay taxes and assume the same privileges as the natives. The social aspects of their assimilation is an altogether different question.

Lafayette

hj0: "Granted this is s simplification, but however the arbitrage works out, reast assured it will arbitrage."

Which is why some are clamoring for a European policy on immigration.

The problem with the EU is that its politicians do not know when to emphasize its "unity" (typically for purposes of boosting its economic potential) and when to insist on "national sovereignty" (typically when issues related to their next election raise their ugly heads).

With this sort of bi-polar discretion, no one should be surprised when Schwarzenegger announces his Prime Minister and Foreign Minister for the state of California. He will then ask for a seat on the UN Security Council. (Why not? He is the elected head of a "state" with a population and GDP equivalent or more than a good many European "states" who prance about invoking thier national sovereignty.)

*uri

Bad day for Romanian and Bulgarian workers (and British businessmen) indeed. But working for a investment group that employs 1% of workforce in Estonia, where salaries for blue-collar workers have gone up some 20% during last year, i just want to say: THANK YOU BRITAIN! I must say that that UK has been one of the most supportive and commited governments in the world for Estonian cause since 1918. Thank you again!

dave

So access to an expanded European market is fine for us Brits, but sharing the goodness at home with a few of the new recruits is out of the question? It's just another piece of right-wing media hysteria: most Brits wouldn't be able to idetify Romania on a map. Come and take our jobs and contribute to my pension - the natives obviously aren't up to it. European Union needs to cut both ways.

paul

Yeah thats right.Hysteria is at home in UK for the time being

Lafayette

dave: "European Union needs to cut both ways."

It does.

You've never seen the number of Brits working outside of the UK? I've a bundle-load here in the south of France alone. There are at least 400,000 Brits who live full or part-time in France, about 100K of which work here. The others are elderly expats, who have never worked here, but who exploit the excellent medical services - paid for by the French who work.

All of the working Brits are "taking the jobs" of the resident French who could do them just as well - one might say.

Get off of the pedestal. Britain benefits as much as from expats working abroad as any country - and perhaps more than most (because they are English-speaking). Only the perversely myopic cannot see that.

Lafayette

NE: "Bulgaria and Romania join the bloc in January, giving their citizens a right to free movement within the EU."

Yes, but with constraints in numbers up to and including 2011.

The doors to the EU are NOT wide open.

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