The Disaster Scenario for British PM David Cameron I guess. He announced that Romanians and Bulgarians would not enjoy the same freedoms as those from other European countries, no not a bit of it, they would be excluded from claiming the same social benefits freely available to others. Britain would not be over-run by scroungers!
David Cameron knows this ‘problem’ does not arise, they are coming to work in the main. But he nonetheless continues to agitate the populist radical right who are spoken to by UKIP. He will continue to do this right up to the European Elections in May 2014, after then who knows what his and his party’s position on the matter will be. Add to this political frenzy of over-speculation the British tabloid press coverage and yes we have a storm of Romanian and Bulgarian scroungers just simply queuing to get on planes, trains and automobiles to get to Britain, and only Britain!
This is no shock, back in 2007 when the 2 countries gained accession there were fears, deep seated fears. The British tabloids at the time imagined hordes would come, fill-up the remaining few British social houses, hospitals and school places.
At the time experts in immigration and population movement said that the effect would not be great. Yes, some would move to Britain but not so many as to swamp the country in feckless beggars and scroungers though. All that has to be remembered is that from 2001 Romanians and Bulgarians could travel freely in the Schengen area without a visa. There was no mass migration, there is no reason to believe that there will be a mass migration so spectacular that the social fabric of society will be torn away at the seams.
But at the time there was no UKIP, the political tone was much more moderate. This time the press and politicians outdid themselves and their hostile and xenophobic language has attracted amazement and bitterness in Bulgaria and Romania. Many articles on the subject are translated, and often make the headlines in both countries.
But there is a great paradox, in Bulgaria, 18,000 Britons have bought holiday homes in the resorts, enjoying an almost Mediterranean climate on the cheap. There is no animosity between the British and Bulgarians to my knowledge, except in the virtual space of the tabloids and the comments they generate from our political leaders.
So my conclusion: Bulgarians and Romanians do not have much to worry about Mr Cameron. You have expressed your doubts, you have agitated. Although in my opinion, it is losing the European elections that you are worrying about, not the moderate influx of people wishing to better their lives through toil and hard work. But for many reasons, the Bulgarian and Romanian have a bad image in the EU. This has nothing to do with Mr. Cameron and Sofia and Bucharest it is to do with the economic disadvantages of their nations. The EU is large and will do well to continue to enlarge itself for the time being.
Britain was after-all the architect of Romanian and Bulgarian accession, she got what she asked for so why complain?
- Non-EU citizens will be able to work in Britain after Bulgarian restrictions lifted (telegraph.co.uk)
- Romanian and Bulgarian workers lifted in EU but debate rages on. (thepolitick.wordpress.com)
- EU dismisses Brit fears of Bulgarian, Romanian influx (nzherald.co.nz)
- Bulgarians and Romanians arrive in the UK as border controls end (independent.co.uk)
- MP’s call for calm over mass immigration as Bulgarians and Romanians arrive in the UK (independent.co.uk)
- Immigrant Invasion Prognoses Failed – British Press (novinite.com)
- EU Labor Restrictions Lifted on Bulgarians, Romanians (novinite.com)
- Scapegoating migrants for Britain’s crisis will damage us all | Seumas Milne (theguardian.com)
- Romanians and Bulgarians completely fail to flood to the UK: The best of Twitter’s reaction (metro.co.uk)
- Restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians lifted (scotsman.com)