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EU Citizens living in the UK

'Migrants are not afraid about benefit cuts because everyone has work or can get work.'

Jadzia and Rafal own a dental practice in the East of England. They moved to the UK from Poland with their children in 2005 after being interviewed successfully in Poland for jobs in a big UK dental company. They owned their own successful dental practice in Poland and moved for a challenge, and so that their children could improve their English: 

‘Our children understand how helpful this is now. Because we moved to England the road is open to them.’

They tell me how much more familiar Polish culture has become to British people since they arrived in 2005.

'When we first arrived and we booked into a hotel the hotel would book 2 separate rooms. They thought we weren't married because our surnames have slightly different endings. We had the same problem at work when we made referrals to hospitals.'

They have since become UK citizens. Why, I asked them. Jadzia replied: 'Because we live here and we pay taxes here.' In their view the growth and success of the market town in which they live is because of migration rather than in spite of it:

‘This town has grown up and thrived because there are lots of Eastern Europeans here. Yes there are some behavioural problems and we feel embarrassed by this, but it’s the same in lots of cities and it’s a minority of cases.’

I ask them what they think about migration and benefits. They tell me that 'Benefits problems have arisen because the Government has set the rules as they are.'

‘It is right that people should contribute first, by paying taxes, before claiming any benefits. And we feel angry that some people are able to claim benefits when they are not contributing. We are taxpayers too. We see benefits being wasted or being given to people who should not be having them.'

'But we disagree with David Cameron that people come to the UK for benefits. Look around who you see walking in town and queuing for benefits. They are nearly all English people. I know because of the people who come here who get free treatment. They are the ones on benefits and they are nearly all English people.'

'There is something wrong with the Government and politics not with the people.'

'Migrants are not afraid about benefit cuts because everyone has work or can get work.’

What do they think about Brexit?

‘Brexit is really a problem for British people not Eastern Europeans.'

'British people need to wake up before the vote and think about what will happen. Think about the expats and their Spanish villas and businesses. At the minute there are so many workers that employers get the advantages of high flexibility. If we close the borders then we won’t have as many people businesses won’t have that flexibility, and the power of employees will increase.'

'Migrants working in the fields and in lower level jobs will move on. There are plenty of fields in France and Spain. But the British businesses that rely on the migrants will close because British people don't want to do that sort of work anymore.’