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East European immigration slows

The number of Eastern European workers registering in the UK has dropped for the second quarter in a row.

Official figures show 50,000, mostly Polish applicants, registered to work between April and June 2007.

Some 9,600 Bulgarians and Romanians also registered under the tighter rules affecting those two EU members.

Other statistics show ministers met a 2006 target for removing failed asylum seekers – but the rate has slowed according to fresh 2007 figures.

On Eastern European workers, figures show a cumulative total of 683,000 applicants from nations which joined the EU after May 2004 – but that the rate of arrivals had slowed in 2007.

Between April and June 2007 there were 50,000 applications to join the UK's worker registration scheme compared with 52,000 in the first three months of the year and 65,000 in the last three months of 2006.

Some 66% of the applications have been Polish, a trend which has continued month-by-month in 2007. About 8% of the workers have dependants including children.

Bulgarian and Romanian workers were not allowed free access to the UK when the two nations joined in January 2007 – and figures show only 9,565 people from both nations applied to come to the UK between April and June 2007.