OPEN LETTER TO TONY BLAIR 2006
Dear Prime Minister Tony Blair,
Free movement of Romanian workers in the UK after 1 January 2007
The Romanian community in the UK welcomes the consistent support that you and your Government have granted to Romania’s preparations for accession to the EU. We urge you to continue to follow your policies and beliefs and take the decision to open UK’s labour market to Romanian citizens once Romania becomes full member of the EU in January 2007.
We are writing to you on behalf of thousands of taxpayers of Romanian origin, who have contributed to the astounding economic success that Britain has experienced under your leadership. Moreover, the members of our community have always taken an active role in the development of the British-Romanian economic, political and social links and they will continue to consolidate these links in the future.
We are deeply concerned about the denigrating campaign of the past weeks in the British media that does significant harm to the true image of Romania. The numbers of Romanians who intend to come to work in the UK after 1 January 2007 have been highly exaggerated. After all, Romania has a booming economy and is already experiencing a shortage of labour. These trends, coupled with the economic incentives that will be created by EU entry and structural funds, are conducive to job creation and higher salaries. Consequently, the incentives for Romanians to work abroad will be significantly diminished.
We believe that our arguments in favour of opening up the British labour market to Romanians deserve consideration. Firstly, we believe that allowing free movement of Romanian workers into the UK will contribute to economic growth in both countries. Secondly, this decision will prevent and drastically reduce incentives for illegal labour and exploitation. And last but not least, it will further enrich the relationship between Romania and Great Britain as NATO allies and EU partners.
It is a fact that the growing British economy needs an inflow of labour to cover a variety of sectors in the labour market. Studies have already proven the positive effect of the influx of workers from A8 countries to the British economy. The same studies have downplayed the alleged negative effects of Romanian immigrants on the British social welfare system. According to the British law, workers coming from the A2 countries would not be entitled to social benefits after 1 January 2007. Moreover, the typical Romanian immigrant is mainly young and single, therefore, it is unlikely that he/she would overburden the UK education and health system - as it has been alleged.
As you recently stated in the opening of the TUC conference the immigrants from the A8 countries ‘have helped and not been burden’. We strongly believe that this will remain true if Romanians gain access to the UK labour market after they join the EU.
In the light of these arguments, we urge you once more to grant Romanians free access to the British labour market beginning with 1 January 2007 and thus, give us the chance to contribute to the cultural richness and diversity of Great Britain, whom we respect and take as an example.
Mrs. Ionela Flood
Mrs. Anne-Marie Visoianu
Romanian Christian Orthodox Parish ‘St. Makarios the Great’
Mr. Victor Craciun
Liga Culturala pentru Unitatea Romanilor de Pretutindeni
Mrs. Simona Tatulescu-Cighir
Mr. Corneliu Tatulescu-Cighir
London Resources Ltd(Romanian Community Business Growth Link)
Mr. Adrian Cherciu
Romani Online Ltd - www.Romani-Online.co.uk
Mr. Razvan Novacovschi
Oxford Romanian Cultural Society
Dr. Tudor Toma
Societatea medicala Romana din UK
Mrs. Anne Marie Martin
Bel Management Ltd.
Mrs. Cristina Irimie,
Mr. Inno Brezeanu,
Romani in UK – “ Roman in UK “ publication, www.romani.co.uk
Mrs Sorana Parvulescu
Romanian LSE SU Society
Mr. Daniel Furculesteanu
Romani in UK
Olympia Handball Club
The Romanian Students' Society - University of Westminster
Mrs. Anda Anastasescu
LONDON SCHUBERT PLAYERS TRUST
Mr. Serban Cantacuzino