Latvia, which has a population of roughly two million, is gearing up to accept hundreds of refugees as part of a quota agreed by diplomats in Brussels.

But those who have arrived in the tiny Baltic state say the cold weather, lack of generous state handouts and relatively low number of fellow migrants who speak the same language have combined to make their experience of life in Europe thoroughly miserable.

One refugee worker told German newspaper Die Welt: “The refugees from southern countries tell us openly: Latvia is not our dream destination, we happened here, it was up to the smugglers.”

Another added: “It is not like Britain. We want to go to Britain, life is easy in Britain. We want to live in Britain like our friends.”

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