Any advance on 1.4 million? Red tops play lotto with the invading hordes

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The Independent Online

If swarthy foreigners are not soon swarming down every high street demanding jobs, homes and handouts, the nation's right-wing papers will have a lot of explaining to do.

If swarthy foreigners are not soon swarming down every high street demanding jobs, homes and handouts, the nation's right-wing papers will have a lot of explaining to do.

For months, they have been making predictions about the "flood of migrants" who are "ready to swamp Britain" in the run-up to EU enlargement. As the deadline neared last week, the tabloids were scouring Europe for scare stories. Here, for those so far spared them, is a sample.

Walking right into Britain

The People, 25 April

"The tidal wave of illegal immigrants who sneak into Poland from former Iron Curtain countries can easily buy a stolen or forged passport ... From next Saturday, they can enter Britain... and help themselves to our free health service, education system and after a while, state benefits."

See EU on Saturday

The Sun, 26 April

"Hordes of East Europeans were last night preparing to seek a new life in Britain ... There are fears services like schools and hospitals will not be able to meet the demands."

Britain won't let us starve: Gypsies say they can't wait to arrive in land of dole and benefits

Daily Express, April 28

"This most repressed of people see Britain as some sort of promised land where all their prayers will be answered. To them, Britain's economy ... can easily sustain gypsy families where eight children are not uncommon ... In Slovakia there are signs that the country is giving its estimated 500,000 Roma gypsies every encouragement to go."

Benefits Britain, here we come

Daily Mail, 28 April

A "disturbing dispatch" reports on a family of Slovak gypsies and their dreams of returning to the UK where they once sought asylum. " 'How do I get free accommodation?' 47-year-old Viera asks. 'And if my daughter has a baby there,' she says, her eyes lighting up, 'will the baby be British?'"

Half of Brits want to quit UK

The Sun, 28 April

"More than half of Brits want to get OUT of the UK for good just as East Europeans are queueing to get IN, a survey reveals ... Experts predict up to 54,000 East Europeans could head to the UK ..."

By the next day, The Sun has recalibrated: "39,750 will come to UK every year".

Raiders of the New Frontier

Daily Express, 29 April

"Thousands of migrants are massing at Europe's eastern frontier ... desperate people ... easy gateway to the West ... asylum systems close to collapse ... meltdown ... prostitution ... people-trafficking ... drugs ... Mafia gangs ..."

Asylum seeker to star in next Big Brother: And he'll claim benefits from INSIDE the house

Daily Star, 29 April

Story of a Romanian asylum-seeker on a shortlist for the new TV series.

In EU come: No plan at ports for the invasion

The Sun, 29 April

"Thousands of migrants will be waved into Britain ..." Further on, the paper reports: "East European vice girls are set to join the march." Facing this is a story headed "Romans to Roma. The invasion of Britain: A history". It is illustrated with a picture of Hitler.

700,000: That's how many Eastern Europeans came LAST year

The Sun, 30 April

"Early predictions are that the total could DOUBLE to almost 1.4 million this year."

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