Britain’s Home Office is drawing up contingency plans to restrict the number of economic
migrants from Greece and other European Union nations in case the euro collapses.
EU rules allow citizens to work anywhere in any country in the single market, including the UK, with the exception of new members Romania and Bulgaria. People looking for work abroad may see Britain as an attractive option as it is a non-eurozone country.
Home Secretary Theresa May told the Daily Telegraph that “work is on-going” to restrict European immigration in the event of financial collapse.
May didn’t go into detail, but the British government has some room for manoeuvre, as rules are in place to restrict immigration in extreme situations.
May said there was no evidence that immigration was on the rise, and that it is difficult to say how the situation is going to develop in the coming weeks.
Her statement appeared to contradict official figures this week showing that net migration to the UK in the 12 months to last September stood at 252,000, more than double the government’s target of fewer than 100,000 people a year.
At the same time, the number of people emigrating from Britain to work abroad has plunged in the wake of the credit crunch.