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eu citizens and the brexit vote

(104 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

xmasadsboohiss Mon 27-Jun-16 10:51:54

I've lived here for over twenty years and have worked and paid taxes and am in the process of raising a family. So I could almost be one of Mr Farage's 'ordinary, decent' people. Except my passport comes from an EU country so I guess that, in his eyes, that rules me out of that particular tranche of society.

I'm hurt on a personal level by the vote - talk of 'Getting our country back' is so upsetting. I for one was unaware that I or any of my fellow EU citizens had stolen it! I'm also troubled by the realisation that the country I have lived in for most of my adult life, and which I thought of as open, welcoming and progressive may not be so. Do I want to raise my children in a place that prides itself in looking inwards rather than outwards? Hmmm.

And then of course there are the practicalities. I'm an EU citizen and one of the implicit aims of the Leave campaign was to push British people at the top of the queue for jobs. So my job prospects are by definition impacted despite years of hard work and contribution to this country on my part.

Now I know there are many words of reassurance coming from politicians but frankly why should I believe any of it? This is new to everyone so anything can happen.

To me whether I am being unreasonable or not is neither here nor there. I'm sad and I'm worried.

RortyCrankle Mon 27-Jun-16 11:32:01

I would say that 'wanting our country back' refers to being out of the clutches and control of the EU bureaucrats. That's certainly what it means to me and I voted Leave.

Everyone I talk to on this subject agrees that we welcome those who are here working and contributing to this country and hope you continue to do so. Quite frankly anyone who doesn't have that opinion is a bit of an idiot. We're not so happy about the percentage of the prison population that come from the EU nor those who come but have no intention of working and believe they and their families should be returned to their countries. I don't think that is unreasonable.

As for pushing British people to the top for jobs - I used to recruit and my main criteria was to hire the very best person for the job. Any company who didn't follow the same policy would be pretty stupid quite frankly.

I hope you can feel more secure after this initial unsettling time and wish you the best.

xmasadsboohiss Mon 27-Jun-16 11:51:28

Thank you for your kind words. I had have many similar sentiments expressed by friends both on and off line. Despite them though it remains a very unsettling time.

There are around three million EU passport holders in this country and any I have spoken to, or read about in the press, feel the same way. Britain has been part of the EU for my entire life and there's no doubt that this vote changes things. At the very least I expect a thick envelope to be landing on my doormat within in the next few years requiring me to register my residency or some such. 'So what?' I hear you say. Well yes but it does smart a little when I have done nothing but contribute positively to this country since the early 1990s.

Regrettably I fear that this is the first of many unintended consequences of the vote.

StrawberryQuik Mon 27-Jun-16 11:59:15

It's not just you OP, everyone I've spoken to keeps saying that although we know no one is chucking us out immediately we feel hurt on a personal level, like suddenly we're not 'good enough' despite being teachers/nhs workers/running community projects etc etc

One of mum's best friends is a lovely German lady genuinely scared of being chucked out as a 'benefit scrounger' though (she used to work as a scientist but now has serious back problems)...her parents are dead and all her friends are here in England sad

xmasadsboohiss Mon 27-Jun-16 12:06:35

Thanks Strawberry. It's good to know I'm not alone - as I knew I wasn't. To be honest I'm not sure I'll ever feel as 'at home' here again. I realise that some British neighbours and friends may find this hard to understand but imagine if for some reason not of their own making the entire combined populations of Greater Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol suddenly felt singled out as being 'different' to everybody else. There's no denying it would feel odd as indeed it does.

As I said before an unintended consequence.

MitzyLeFrouf Mon 27-Jun-16 12:06:46

'Now I know there are many words of reassurance coming from politicians but frankly why should I believe any of it?'

You shouldn't.

Booboostwo Mon 27-Jun-16 12:12:01

I feel the same OP and I don't even live in the UK at the moment. I am taking it personally and I don't see how the insult is softened by suggesting that the don't mean ME but the non-white/low wage earner/whatever dress up word you want to insert here for racism.

Ouriana Mon 27-Jun-16 12:12:48

This has been discussed on a few threads on here and it was suggested we run a campaign, affiliated with an anti racism charity, to raise awareness and stop the vile racism thats occoured as a result of the referendum.

A way of Leave and Remain voters uniting in the support of EU nationals living and working in the UK.

If you have any ideas or suggestions or could get involved that would be brilliant (apologies for hijacking yet another thread) flowers

xmasadsboohiss Mon 27-Jun-16 12:24:03

I'd had a similar idea myself actually Ouriana. I'm not sure I have any useful suggestions right at this moment as emotions are still pretty raw on it all to be honest but I am desperate to be part of a movement that unites rather than divides.

I've never really been subjected to aggressive racism - comments which are well meant but fall into the category of 'national stereotyping' you learn to live with - but I stand shoulder to shoulder with nationals from Eastern Europe who are subjected to this awful abuse.

Leaving your own country to follow your ambitions abroad is never a decision that anyone takes lightly, and all most of us want to do is work hard and live in peace.

Asprilla11 Mon 27-Jun-16 12:29:39

OP - I am a leave supporter but I don't want a single immigrant to leave the UK, whether they are EU or non-EU.

I also don't want an end to immigration and I know many other vote leavers feel the same.

There has been a nasty, racist Far Right movement that has existed from before we even joined the EU. Unfortunately the referendum gave them a voice and media coverage.

MyMacMess Mon 27-Jun-16 12:36:39

xmas are you me? You are not alone in how you feel. I feel uncomfortable with friends who have voted leave. When I explained the position we are in now, they had very little understanding just saying that they don't think people like us will be affected? How do they know? Muppets.

Ouriana Mon 27-Jun-16 12:41:12

Xmas can i copy and paste some of what you have put onto the other thread?

I am desperate to be part of a movement that unites rather than divides.

That bit, if its ok with you

YetAnotherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Jun-16 12:42:53

Hi all,

After a great many requests, we're moving the bulk of the referendum threads to the new board here.

Many of you, understandably, want to discuss this subject at length and in detail - this seems a good way to simultaneously keep AIBU and Chat moving for those who don't wish to participate. Of course, the conversations will still appear in Active.

xmasadsboohiss Mon 27-Jun-16 12:43:43

Yep Ukip and co certainly got their message out loud and clear - if you ask me that was the real Project Fear, not the economic arguments against Brexit.

Now I'm not including anyone on this thread in this but I will say this - while it's great and reassuring to say 'we don't want you to leave' people who then go on to say 'we just don't want any more of you to come' take away that feelgood factor somewhat. If this referendum had happened in 1990 I would have been the butt of that kind of comment. Immigration has been an overwhelmingly positive thing for this country and any conversation about tinkering around the edges of immigration policy must always, I believe, start and end with that basic fact.

BarbarianMum Mon 27-Jun-16 12:45:06

My mum is an EU national and has lived in the UK since she was 19 - she is now 72. Her whole working life has been spent here, she's always paid taxes here, she has a state pension. Since last Thursday she's been asked twice when she is planning on going home sad. So my advice is not to count your chickens and keep a careful eye on what's coming next. I think a lot of people did vote leave hoping to see the back of all foreigners.

xmasadsboohiss Mon 27-Jun-16 12:48:45

OURIANA - paste away my love! And PM me if that helps.

BARBARIAMUM - that is absolutely shocking!!!! Your poor mum. I am most certainly keeping an eye although quite what I will do about my British partner and two dual nationality children if I'm asked to leave is hard to say!

angelos02 Mon 27-Jun-16 12:52:59

I think a lot of people did vote leave hoping to see the back of all foreigners

I don't think most leave-voters want to see the back of ALL foreigners. They want a points system so that if your skills are sufficiently valuable to the UK, you are very welcome to stay. I am losing my job next month and can't deny that I won't feel resentment.

BarbarianMum Mon 27-Jun-16 12:57:48

But angelos02 my mum is 72. She's hardly going to score a lot of points for having skills relevant to the UK economy now, is she? So does she get to stay (and put strain on the health service --she helped fund for 50 years--) or does she need to go.

MyMacMess Mon 27-Jun-16 12:58:05

"'we don't want you to leave' people who then go on to say 'we just don't want any more of you to come' take away that feelgood factor somewhat."

I agree 100%. A few of my 'friends' have done this to us.

Barbarais, how utterly appallingthanks. I agree with you and would like to remind that many Jews and socialists in the 1930s stayed in Germany whilst others fled the country thinking that things could not be so bad. They trusted in the good in people and could not envisage the horrors that were to follow. I am not saying that there will be a pogrom or genocide here in a few years time but that people rarely imagine the evil things some people are capable of given certain political and economic circumstances.

I am also most impressed by the stoic ability of Leave voters to keep denying that project brexit has unleashed an ugly monster.

We are watching carefully and examining our options. Life's too short to remain in a country where people feel enabled to ask other citizens to leave. Disgusting behaviour.

On the other hand, my Albanian cleaner who came this morning had not a care in the world. She has lived here for ten years, her Dh for 20 and she says her children are settled in school, she is not looking to leave. She said that the English have shot themselves in the foot (or something to this effect). Her English is very broken which might be useful in screening out unpleasant xenophobic comets.<tongue in cheek> .

xmasadsboohiss Mon 27-Jun-16 12:59:01

Angelos02 - so sorry to hear about you losing your job. I've been there and it's never a nice experience.xx

I've always had a bit of an issue with the whole points based system thing though - just as an example how do you demonstrate that your skills as a fruit picker are superior to those of a British person. And if you can't, and British people won't do the job how is harvesting going to happen? In other words skills testing is all well and good for skilled and professional jobs but there are vast numbers of immigrants who do unskilled jobs that are unappealing to people who already live here.

stickygotstuck Mon 27-Jun-16 12:59:41

xmass, I know how you feel. It is difficult not to take it personally. I am even reluctant to speak to DD in her second language (my first) while out and about since Friday. An EU friend received some priceless comments already during the campaign.

From a practical point of view, I think there is no reason to panic yet, but like Barbarian says (your name now makes a lot of sense, btw!) I certainly intend to keep an eye on things. Worth applying for a residence registration certificate/card in the first instance I should think?

I could see this coming. Still difficult to digest though.

MyMacMess Mon 27-Jun-16 13:03:28

If the UK falls into a recession a points based system is going to present one further a barrier for the desired immigrants to the UK. Whys hold they come here? Uk's reputation has been massively damaged. They'd probably rather go another country, seeing that most EU citizens learn 3 languages. They may also choose to go to Scotland or Ireland instead. Why come to little Britain in recession? what would be in it for them?

My dh was in hospital last year and most of the nurses were foreign and absolutely fabulous in ether care. He overheard so many racist comments from elderly English patients on the ward hmm.

xmasadsboohiss Mon 27-Jun-16 13:07:12

Sticky - it makes me so sad to hear that you feel uncomfortable speaking to your DD in your native tongue. It's all those little things that mount up to a growing sense of alienation.

A niggling feeling that I just can't shake at the moment is that because I'm an EU national my opinion counts for less. On that Question Time special last night Alec Salmond started to talk about the fact that so many EU nationals could not vote in the referendum and was hushed by David Dimbleby as if his point was a complete irrelevancy.

I'm not panicking but agree that watchful waiting is what's called for.

MyMacMess Mon 27-Jun-16 13:10:08

i feel like that even on MN xmas.

Chalalala Mon 27-Jun-16 13:15:21

I and many of my friends feel like the OP.

I thought the UK was home, because I thought I was an EU citizen living in the EU.

It's been made very clear to me that this is not my "home", I'm just a guest. And a barely tolerated one at that - I'm only welcome if I can prove that I'm useful.

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