As from May 2004 the EU will be joined by a number of countries from the old Soviet Bloc including; Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.
Predictably, certain elements of the British press have whipped up a frenzy of fear and loathing.
We are told that we can expect thousands of economic migrants "swamping" our overstretched infrastructure, and taking our hard earned benefits away.
Well, let me shine a little light of reality on this "paranoid claptrap". I have travelled many times to many of these countries, including the Baltic States, on business. In my opinion, this country could do a lot worse than have a wave of immigration from the population of these countries.
The people of these countries have a number of admirable characteristics, including:
Aside from the benefits of the citizens of these countries choosing to make their homes in the UK, there are other benefits of enlargement:
I certainly enjoyed my time when I was there and, if a good opportunity arose, may well do the same myself.