Britain will not be flooded by waves of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants after restrictions are lifted in January 2014, according to a think tank.

A report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) pointed out that Romanians and Bulgarians have been able to work in the UK since 2007; their numbers increased to 158,000 at the end of the first quarter of 2012, according to official data cited by IPPR.

Moreover, Germany, France and the Netherlands, are also opening up their labour markets to Bulgaria and Romania, offsetting a concentration on the UK.

This should actually lower the proportion of immigrants coming to the UK in January 2014, the report added.

The IPPR predicts the shape of migration at the beginning of next year will be different from that seen in 2004 when many Eastern Europeans moved to the UK in search of better lives.

The report called, In Transition: Romanian and Bulgarian migration to the UK, said 711,000 migrants came to the UK between 2004 and 2012 as a result of access to labour market.

Weighing up costs and benefits, the report stated that migration would add pressure on the lower end of the private rented centre in London and the south east, while human trafficking between Romania and the UK was a potential worry.

The report also said government attempts to prevent migrants from coming to the UK through restricting benefits and tightening border controls would not work.

Migrants were attracted to Britain's flexible labour market and opportunity to work rather than live off benefits, the report said.

Policy Proposals

IPPR said that the government should create a cabinet level committee on the impacts of EU wide immigration led by a senior cabinet member with representatives from major government departments.

This Migration Advisory Committee should hold regular meetings and in parts of the country which have experienced high levels of EU migration, it added

It should produce an annual assessment of the impacts of European migration into the UK.

The British government should also set aside a pot of money to deal with any specific pressures from Bulgarian and Romanian immigration for the first six months of the year from January 2014.