Romanians And Bulgarians Coming To Uk For Work Are Just Like Brits Buying Holiday Homes In France, Says Lib Dem Home Office Minister

State officials’ trip to France raises questions

And he hit out at the UK Independence Party for wanting to pull the drawbridge to the outside world. Mr Browne, who is widely seen as a leading figure on the right of the Liberal Democrats, defended the open door policies which have seen hundreds of thousands of people from Eastern Europe move to the UK. He told the New Statesman magazine that he is in the unfashionable minority the influx of Eastern European workers to the UK. He said: I dont think there was a mistake. It was transformational in terms of Britains relationship with countries like Poland. It was in our foreign policy interest but, at a much more direct, micro level, there are lots of employers in my constituency and around the country who are full of praise for the contribution that Poles have made to their businesses and the economy more generally. The government has refused to publish forecast for the number of Romanians and Bulgarians who might move to Britain, after Labour failed to accurately predict how many Poles would come here for work. Ban on Muslim students wearing religious veils scrapped by Birmingham college after public outcry But Mr Browne said: Theyre only complying with the same rules as British people who live in Spain or have holiday houses in France, or who work in Germany. He conceded that immigration has put pressure on public services, but added: I think if you look at the overall ledger . . . the positives outweigh the negatives. With UKIP ahead of the Lib Dems in most polls, the junior coalition partner risks being eclipsed by the anti-EU party led by Nigel Farage. But Mr Browne insisted: Essentially, the big choice the country faces is not really embodied that well by the two biggest parties: it is represented by the Lib Dems and UKIP. Thats where its thrown into stark relief. The number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers in the UK has risen dramatically in the last decade He said it is a choice between pulling the drawbridge up, erecting barriers to the outside, and being a welcoming, liberal, outward-looking, internationalist country that embraces the opportunities of globalisation. Even before the immigration rules change figures already show about 100 Romanians and Bulgarians a day are getting jobs in Britain. The number of people from the two EU countries has soared by more than a third over the past year, even though they are not yet allowed to work freely in this country. The number here has reached a record high of 141,000, according to the Office for National Statistics over-shadowing the total number of Australians and New Zealanders for the first time since records began.

The number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers in the UK has risen dramatically in the last decade

When asked for details of the French payment such as when it was made, officials said the money came from a Georgia trust fund set up for international exchanges for students, staff and teachers. Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza said Georgia taxpayers didn’t pay into the fund, which was established in 1994 with help from a private donor. He said there was confusion about who paid for it because of how long the fund has been around. The officials who traveled to France included Joel Thornton, who was Georgia School Superintendent John Barge’s chief of staff at the time of the trip. David Turner, director of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education at the department; and Greg Barfield, program specialist for World Languages and Global Initiatives; also made the trip to Nancy, France, from December 8-14. The purpose was to renew a memorandum of understanding between the department and the Academie of Nancy-Metz, officials said. It served as an opportunity to establish relationships with business officials in France and study how the French teach culinary arts, Thornton said. Culinary arts is one subject in the state’s “career pathways” initiative. Under the new program, Georgia students are being asked to choose a pathway leading to a possible career. Critics say the trip was a waste of money. “This is a shocking abuse of authority and misuse of funds appropriated for students,” said William Perry, head of Georgia’s Common Cause, a non-partisan watchdog group.