Thursday 26 November 2015

Nothing changes

If you recall, in May 2014 ONS figures showed an unexpected dip in the number of Romanians and Bulgarians coming to work in Britain rather than the expected significant rise - apparently contradicting Migration Watch (who were predicting around 50,000 a year) and UKIP (who expected even more). The left-leaning newspapers (The Guardian and Independent) gloated. And so did the BBC:
Mark Easton: On New Year's Day, construction worker Victor Spiresau was greeted by politicians, reporters and photographers at Luton Airport - the first Romanian immigrant to arrive in Britain after the controversial lifting of employment controls on Romania and Bulgaria. Victor became the reluctant symbol of what many predicted would be a vast wave of East Europeans flocking to the UK. MPs and newspapers warned of a "flood" of hundreds of thousands of poor Romanians and Bulgarians who would strain our welfare system and public services. It was an argument that played directly into anxieties about immigration and the influence of the EU. But today's figures, the first official estimate of workers from Romania and Bulgaria since the transitional employment restrictions were removed on the so-called A2 countries in January, suggest there has been no flood. If anything, the reverse. 
Nick Robinson: Well, well, well. So much for those predictions of a flood of immigrants coming from Romania and Bulgaria once the door to the UK was opened - ie after visa restrictions were removed on 1 January this year!
Eddie Mair: After all the hype, how many Romanians and Bulgarians have come to the UK to work so far this year?
As we noted at the time, the BBC made a great deal of it...
It was high on the BBC website's running order, it was discussed on PM and it led Newsnight, plus star BBC reporters like Nick Robinson and Mark Easton made hay with it throughout much of the day. 
...unlike the right-leaning papers - a mirror image of the reporting of the story before January 2014, when the right-leaning papers were full of the Romanian-Bulgarian controversy and the left-leaning papers and the BBC were downplaying it.

The wheel turns again.

The latest ONS figures are out. Migration Watch, yet again, has been proved spot-on, and UKIP's assertion that there would be a lot more than even Migration Watch's figure if 'hidden' factors were taken into account also looks increasingly realistic.

The figures showed that 50,000 migrants from Romania and Bulgaria came to Britain for more than a year in the 12 months to the end of June compared with 19,000 in year to June 2014 [just as Migration Watch predicted].
However, separate figures on Bulgarians and Romanians registering to work in the country show much higher numbers in the country [just as UKIP predicted]
The number of Romanians and Bulgarians issued with a national insurance number was the same as the overall number handed out to migrants from all non-EU states together. 
Official figures show the number of national insurance numbers issued to migrants from both countries rose by more than half between September 2014 and September this year to 206,000. 
In the same period the number of number issued to migrants from outside the EU rose by 28 per cent to also reach 206,000.
For EU citizens, the number of NINo [national insurance] registrations in YE September 2015 was 655,000, an increase of 150,000 (30%) on the previous year. The 5 EU nationalities with the most new NINo registrations in YE September 2015 were:
• Romanian (165,000)
• Polish (122,000)
• Italian (60,000)
• Spanish (54,000)
• Bulgarian (41,000)
So much for Keith Vaz's "trickle"! So much for Mark Easton's "if anything, the reverse"! So much for Nick Robinson's "Well, well, well. So much for those predictions..."! So much for Eddie Mair's talk of "all the hype"!

The right-leaning papers are, again, reporting the news heavily, and the left-leaning ones doing the opposite. 

And the BBC? 

Well, as far as I can see, they are reverting to type and joining the left-leaning newspapers in downplaying it yet again (predictably). 

The main online article on the latest immigration figures mentions the Romanian and Bulgarian figures (in two bullet points) but makes absolutely nothing of them. They are briefly stated, some way down the article, and then passed on from without comment. (The analysis from Danny Shaw studiously ignores them). 

I can see no other BBC online report today about it. Can anyone else find one? 

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