Filthy migrant shanty towns have sprung up around the outside of London. Their residents, living rent free so they can drastically undercut other workers in the UK, fear Britain voting to leave the European Union (EU).
Running along one of London’s busiest roads, makeshift campsites have appeared where mostly Albanians, Romanians and Bulgarians sleep in tents or on mattresses sheltered by flyovers. Some sleep in cars that have been raised off their wheels so as to avoid paying road tax. At the larger, more established, campsites the huts even have doors and windows.
The Sun reports that raw sewage runs through many of the camps, which are usually strewn with rubbish, beer cans, filthy clothes and bedding.
The men are picked up in trucks and vans to work for just £40 a day, “driving down wages for local plumbers and painters”. Some also gather at a Wickes in Barking, waiting for work.
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A migrant from Romania told The Sun that many of the campers have “worked for two years all over Europe and it is best here in England.”
“We can earn at least three times more here than at home and much more than in Spain or Italy.
“We paint, plumb, [do] roofing, do building work.
“Some have been here six years.”
Migrants said that the camps are often dangerous due to “a lot of people getting drunk”, and lament how often people return to their spaces to find their things missing, having been stolen by other migrants.
Revealing they send almost all of the money they make back home, one migrant confessed: “I want to bring my family over one day, we all do.
“But we can’t bring our wives here to live in the camp because we are afraid the others will rape them.”
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One migrant, Laurentiu, told The Sun he wants to bring his children over to the UK, but that he fears a vote for Britain to leave the EU would bring an end to this dream: “I have three kids at home and I would like to bring them here but I am worried about the vote.
“If Britain votes to leave we could all be kicked out — we would probably go back to Spain or Italy.”
Residents found the shanty towns of migrants “a complete nuisance”. A local worker said the men are “knocking wages down”.
“I feel for them but we can’t keep taking them in.”
Left-wing supporters of the campaign to remain in the European Union regularly claim that the EU “protects workers’ rights”, many almost implying it is the one body standing between the Conservative Party sending British people to the Victorian workhouse.
But it’s unclear how they think British workers can maintain a lifestyle, in which they can afford to live in reasonable lodgings and bring up children, when foreign competitors are sleeping rough in camps with almost no day-to-day living expenses.