New Europeans were present at Luton Airport on 1 January 2014 to welcome the first flight to the UK from Romania following the lifting of restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians being able to work in the UK.
Contrary to the scare-mongering in the UK press, which had reached a fever pitch between Christmas and the New Year, there was no "invasion". In fact the plane from Tarju Mures in Transylvania was only three-quarters full and only one passenger, Viktor was visiting the UK for the first time. Roger Casale invited Viktor for a coffee to welcome him to the UK.
They were joined by Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committe who had come to the airport to check the new entry procedures with colleauge Mark Reckless MP.
The Costa coffee moment was widely reported. Ridiculed in some papers, it in fact helped change the narrative. A hostile reaction to the idea of a "mass invasion" from Romania and Bulgaria was replaced with an image of a young man being welcomed to the UK as an individual European citizen looking to contribute and work in the UK.
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