IT’S easy to tell when Tony Blair’s talking nonsense: his lips move.
Our former prime minister was at it again over the weekend telling Andrew Marr that he “didn’t know the numbers” of migrants who would come to Britain from the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004.
It is incredible that Blair expects anybody to believe his protestations of ignorance when he was given so many warnings about what would happen.
Alongside Cyprus and Malta the so-called A8 countries – the former Soviet states of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia – all joined the EU on May 1, 2004.
The most serious report commissioned by Home Office officials estimated that somewhere between 5,000 and 13,000 people from these countries would come here every year.
Nobody in their right mind believed that figure. Nigel Farage, speaking on TV, said it would mean “a lot more people coming into Britain”.
The think tank MigrationWatch released its own report in August 2003 – nine months before these countries formally joined the EU – warning that immigration from former Soviet bloc countries could be four times higher than the Home Office report’s estimate.
The Daily Express, in a leader article, agreed and warned that “the Government’s assurances on immigration inspire little confidence”.