January 1st saw the residence regulation on Bulgarian and Romanian national relaxed. Many had predicted a flood of migrants from those countries, particular poorer people without guaranteed offer of jobs. Roma in Eastern Europe experience high levels of unemployment and tend to work in casual and poorly paid jobs. So much of the anxiety about a deluge of poor and unskilled Romanians and Bulgarians was, in fact, code for Roma.
In the end the flood was nothing more than a trickle, but ITV’s daybreak programme decided to devote time to considering the issue on the Daybreak programme on the 6th January. Nick Radu, a member of the nomadic-education team, was asked to share a sofa with Nigel Farrage and be the voice of reason into the Eurosceptic debate in which the Roma are becoming a political football.