European Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor has reminded that no EU member state State can unilaterally extend the existing labor market restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians beyond the end of 2013.

“Free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the Single Market and indeed of the European Union. It brings very considerable benefits to the individuals concerned, and to the economies of both the host and home countries,” Andor has declared in a statement.

“Derogations from this principle must be very strictly limited in time. The remaining restrictions on the free movement of workers from Bulgaria and Romania will end on 31st December 2013,” he has reminded.

The European Commissioner’s statement follows claims made by several British tabloids and politicians that the UK should brace for an “influx” of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants after the end of 2013.

Later on Thursday, Andor will brief the Council on the free movement of workers from Bulgaria and Romania.