28 January 2013

Government mulling negative UK immigration advertising campaign

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The Government is reportedly considering publishing a range of advertisements aimed at potential Bulgarian and Romanian migrants intended to put them off moving to the UK.

UK visa

The UK Government are reportedly considering using the miserable British weather as a deterrent to potential migrants.

Romania and Bulgaria accede to the European Union later this year and have raised concerns among many UK immigration analysts that uncontrolled freedom to Britain, its labour market and welfare system will result in levels of net migration similar to those after Poland, Lithuania and Latvia acceded in 2004.

So far the Government has been reluctant to release official estimates and while anti-immigration advocates such as Migration Watch UK have predicted numbers as high as 50,000, there are some who are more optimistic given the difference in Bulgaria and Romania's cases compared to 2004.

In 2004, Britain alone opened their borders when Poland, Lithuania and Latvia acceded but this time, all 25 member states will open their borders to welcome the two new members and some commentators have pointed out that Italy, Spain and Germany all offer either better cultural or language ties to the new nations or better economic opportunities.

However, one scheme reportedly being considered by the Government to combat those Bulgarians and Romanians who are planning on moving to the UK is to portray the UK as a grim place with little opportunity and too much rain.

While there are no confirmed reports of how any campaign would look, initial suggestions are a combination of a dreary Britain with poor employment opportunities juxtaposed with the highlights of the source countries such as Romania's Carpathian Mountains and Bulgaria's Black Sea.

Whether such a campaign would work remains to be seen although one minister was quoted this week as saying any such campaign would 'correct the impression that the streets here are paved with gold'.


The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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