The Telegraph ran one of those hysterical immigration articles on Sunday ‘Romania opens up back door for thousands of Moldovans to claim benefits in the UK.’ It’s not surprising that this is the line they were taking, but was is surprising (given that they’re a reputable broadsheet all be it with a particular political leaning) is the total lack of any attempt to give any semblance of balance to their reporting at all. We knocked up the letter below and thought we’d share it with you given that they haven’t published it!
Your article ‘Romania opens back door for thousands of Moldovans to claim benefits in the UK’ paints a misleading picture.
On the question of ‘claiming benefits’ in the UK, research by UCL found that newcomers from Eastern Europe paid 37% more in taxes than they received in benefits and from public services. To this extent dual Moldovan/Romanians are surely to be welcomed to the UK should they choose to exercise their treaty rights.
On the ‘flood’ that Andrew Green predicts will arise from Romania’s actions, this is highly unlikely. Statistics in 2009 show that citizenship grants by Romania were far smaller than citizenship grants by other EU members such as Germany or France. Furthermore, it is worth noting that Eastern Europeans as a whole account for a mere 1.63% of the UK’s workforce.
On the ‘back door’ element to this, Romania’s restitution of nationality policy was established prior to negotiations preceding the Treaty of Accession to the EU in 2005. Subsequent amendments are in line with the terms of the Treaty, and sit in the wider context of wider developments within the EU.
The principle of restitution of nationality to former Romanian citizens itself is an important one. It corrects a historical wrong arising from a secret protocol to the Ribbentrop – Molotov Treaty signed in 1939, and the subsequent annexation and occupation of what was formerly Romanian territory by the USSR under Stalin. We assume that this is something that most Telegraph readers if anything should welcome.’
Policy Director JCWI