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Number of Eastern European migrant workers in UK drops

22 August 2008 by

The number of Eastern European migrant workers moving to the UK has dropped to its lowest level since the new countries joined the European Union (EU) in 2004, new Home Office figures have revealed.

The statistics show that between April and June this year the Worker Registration Scheme received 40,000 applications from nationals of the eight accession countries.

This amounts to a fall of 14,000 compared with the same period last year and a drop of 9,000 from the first three months of this year.

The Home Office said the decrease can mainly be explained by a fall in applications by Polish nationals, which dropped to 25,000 in the second quarter of this year from 37,000 last year and 38,000 in 2006.

The number of Bulgarians and Romanians applying to work in the UK has also dropped to its lowest level since the countries' accession in January last year.

The number of applications by nationals from those countries, who are subject to the recently introduced point-based system, fell to 7,005 between April and June 2007 compared with 10,860 in the same period last year.

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By Kerstin Kühn

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