Economic asset or welfare tourists?
Political reactions to Eastern European migrants in the UK
Avainsanat:Migration, Migration policy, United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, European Union enlargement
In this article, it is argued that Eastern European migrants have become the focus of critical migration discourse in the current Conservative-led Government in the United Kingdom (UK), after the more welcoming period of the preceding Labour Governments. From the 1990s, the Labour Governments have favoured the enlargement of the European Union (EU) and the free movement of Eastern European migrants within the Union by appealing to economic benefi ts. The speeches and statements made by the British Ministers for Europe will be used as the main empirical material of the article, complemented with other political documentation. The analysis addresses the period from the 1990s until the current decade, when people from the new EU Member States have been able to move freely to the UK. While both Labour and Conservative parties have restricted migration from non-EU countries, there are signifi cant diff erences with regard to their approach to EU migration.