My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

To take Brexit personally?

352 replies

Fiep · 29/11/2019 09:46

I’m preparing to be flamed but I really want to hear views from all sides. Do try to be kind though.

I’m an EU citizen. I’ve lived in the UK for all my adult life and have spent most of that working with NHS patients. I’m a qualified professional and there is a skills shortage - we never manage to fill all our posts.

Most people can’t tell by my accent that I’m from the EU and instead assume I’m from another English-speaking country unless I tel them my name (which sounds foreign) or speak in another language.

Before the referendum I felt the UK was my home. It was the place I’d spent most of my life and I’ve always loved the British humour and quirky way of looking at things.

Nobody ever gave me grief about being foreign and I felt welcome and valued.

Shortly after the referendum, someone verbally abused me on a bus when they overheard me speaking in a European language on the phone. It really upset me. I’m privileged by most measures and I’m white, so I was not used to racist abuse. I now have a baby and struggle to talk to her in my language in public as I feel people are giving me judgemental looks when I’m out and about and speaking “foreign”, especially as I live in a rural place where the majority of shoppers at the big Tesco are White British and I see quite a few Union Jack / St George’s flag tattoos. This denies her the chance to grow up bilingual and I feel guilty about that. I do speak / read / sing to her at home but it’s not enough immersion in the language for it to make a difference.

On the other hand, most of my colleagues in health have always been immigrants too and I struggle to see how the NHS would run if it was just White British staffed.

AIBU to feel really angry about Brexit? To feel it’s just vitriol and wanting the country to be white? To take it personally and to let it affect me in that way? To look around the shops and feel that prejudice has been legitimised?

I’d actually be really keen to hear from Leavers as well as Remainers as I really can’t get my head around how anyone could have thought this was a good idea for something as woolly as “sovereignty” or whatever.

braces self for impact

OP posts:
Report
Fiep · 29/11/2019 14:59

@practicalmagico I thibk you misread. I’m not offended by the flag, I was feeling intimidated by its perceived implications which I have already acknowledged were assumptions. May I ask about your tattoo? What emotions are behind it?

OP posts:
Report
curlykaren · 29/11/2019 15:02

Well that's not true at all is it @OnlyfoolsnMothers you had the right to live and work in any of the other EU member states.

Report
Helmetbymidnight · 29/11/2019 15:02

.It’s racist that Europeans are allowed in with no issues while people outside the EU have to go through a massive process.

When we make trade agreements with other countries - as in the India link - there will be this kind of arrangement/deal over immigration too.

Furthermore, we had the opportunity to restrict Freedom of Movement of workers within the EU, but the UK govt. chose not to.

How do people not understand this, three years down the line?

Report
Helmetbymidnight · 29/11/2019 15:08

Genuinely don't know what onlyfoolsandmothers is going on about.
She seems to have voted Brexit because she met some racist poles once. I have no idea what she thinks Brexit is going to achieve.

Re powerful passports. Britain is dropping from 10th to 15th. But hey, there are so many other benefits to brexit, who cares about that. Hmm

Report
EntropyRising · 29/11/2019 15:09

So when we make future trade agreements, you did understand that part of them might well be freedom of movement for workers? If you really were expecting Brexit to bring about a level playing field for immigrants, that was really quite a big mistake.

Another remainer who assumes leavers don't read. Wink What a surprise.

Report
Helmetbymidnight · 29/11/2019 15:10

Yeah, I assume she didn't read it or she didn't understand it. Why would she persist in the same - wrong - argument if she had.

Brexit isn't going to suddenly level the playing field for immigration.

Report
Helmetbymidnight · 29/11/2019 15:15

It’s racist that Europeans are allowed in with no issues while people outside the EU have to go through a massive process.

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-freedom-movement-australia-immigration-uk-eu-citizens-boris-johnson-liz-truss-a9110076.html

So post-Brexit, you will be very unhappy I imagine.

And presumably you will be arguing that its racist that Australians are allowed in with no issues while people outside Australia have to go through a massive process.*

Report
PlacidPenelope · 29/11/2019 15:25

Fiep why do you associate displays of the British or English Flag always as a negative?

I am currently surrounded by flags (another EU country) I am not leaping to the conclusion that the waving of these flags is a sign to me that I am not welcome in this country. Most other European countries display their flags, people drape themselves in their flags and yet they are not decried as despicable nationalists or little whatever country-ists, why is that?

Report
OnlyFoolsnMothers · 29/11/2019 15:30

why do you associate displays of the British or English Flag always as a negative? I think we can thank Britain First or the BNP for this connotation

Report
Fiep · 29/11/2019 15:33

@PlacidPenelope that’s a very good question. I hadn’t thought about that. Probably because I’m from Germany and flag-waving is very much a no-no for historical reasons except at sports matches. Displays of patriotism suggest to me nationalism, with all its nasty implications. Does that make sense? I would be interested, in return, to hear from flag-lovers, of whatever nationality, what motivates you to fly your flag? Is it not in the spirit of a nationalist “we’re better than you”? Genuinely curious!

OP posts:
Report
Fiep · 29/11/2019 15:34

But yes, also the BNP etc didn’t really help

OP posts:
Report
OnlyFoolsnMothers · 29/11/2019 15:35

Helmetbymidnight I voted Brexit because I do not like the way the expansion of the EU is heading, had it been a vote for the status quo I would have voted remain. However more and more countries that I consider institutionally racist, homophobic and antisemitic are joining. I think the UK should have taken more Syrian refugees and we didn't frankly because of the EU numbers at the time and the government trying to appease the public perception.
I also worry about PESCO in conjunction with NATO - and think we have a robust enough economy to survive leaving.
I do though respect the arguments for remain and those that chose to remain.
My bug bear is people who slate the UK as being the most racist country for daring to say that we need more controlled immigration, and those that make out the EU are golden, all those countries love immigration and all migrants are NHS saviours- its BULLSHIT

Report
OnlyFoolsnMothers · 29/11/2019 15:36

curlykaren I have no issue in applying to travel and work in another EU state...just like I have to to visit and work outside the EU.

Report
Helmetbymidnight · 29/11/2019 15:40

But you know we could have applied strictly immigration controls - this is UK govt not the EU.

You know we could let in more refugees - this is UK govt not the EU.

Institutionally racist? You know we are desperately seeking trade deals with countries that have far far worse records on human rights than E. Europe. You know that the best way to stop the rise of nationalism is by ties and join projects and cross-cultural communication.

And the Turkey expansion thing was a lie. Admitted as a lie by Brexit campaigners in order to frighten people into voting leave.

So no, I don't see why you voted Brexit at all.

What are some of the benefits you expect to see?

Report
havingtochangeusernameagain · 29/11/2019 15:43

It’s racist that Europeans are allowed in with no issues while people outside the EU have to go through a massive process

I don't think it is, there are millions of non-white Europeans. And very few countries just let anyone into their country without some sort of controls. Having a network of 28+ nations who allow freedom of movement is just the opposite of racist.

I take Brexit personally as someone who is white and British because I am having my EU rights taken away from me against my will. It won't help me as I am just too old, but I do think anyone who was born while the UK has been in the EU should retain their EU citizenship. It should attach to the individual.

I have no issue in applying to travel and work in another EU state...just like I have to to visit and work outside the EU I assume you have advanced STEM skills? For those British citizens who don't, there will be no chances to work in the EU anymore unless they can find an EU/EEA passport down the back of the sofa. Any other job will be easily filled from within the EEA so they won't take British citizens. You'll need a very specialist skill to be able to work in the EU.

Report
PlacidPenelope · 29/11/2019 15:58

I appreciate that the BNP etc., have not helped and also that Far Right organisations in many countries use the flag but somehow the rest of the population of those countries are not condemned and tarred with the Far Right/Nationalist tag when they wave their flags whether it is at a sporting match, New Years Eve celebration, fiesta day, etc., etc. You can't move for flags round here on high days and holidays and yes some unsavoury types also drape themselves in the flag but no-one condemns everyone else or puts them in a box marked 'Far Right Nationalist/little small minded country-ist' for waving the flag too, it surprises me that this attitude is always directed at or assumed of British or English people but rarely, if ever, said or assumed about say the French, Italians, Spanish, etc., etc.

I understand now you having said you are from Germany and the historical negative associations with flag waving and nationalism, but nationalism and patriotism are not the same, there is a line which reprehensible types will always cross but it is not true of the majority and I don't think it is a better than you message. I think many people are just proud of/happy to be a citizen of their particular country despite all its faults and idiosyncracies and want to celebrate that.

Report
MaxNormal · 29/11/2019 15:58

ChristmasAngst I'm not sure where you e lived but as an EU citizen if you li e and work in an EU country and pay into their social security system, then you're entitled to benefits as well. It's a reciprocal agreement.
As a non EU national when I settled in the UK, I paid tax but wasn't entitled to benefits until I got Leave to Remain. Also fair enough as three wasn't a reciprocal agreement with my country of origin.

Report
OnlyFoolsnMothers · 29/11/2019 16:02

But you know we could have applied strictly immigration controls yes Blair made a huge error not curbing the numbers when the EU expansion happened. He vastly underestimated the numbers, but freedom of movement is freedom of movement, eventually initial restrictions would be relaxed.
As for the removal etc of those without jobs after x amount of months, I see that as a huge cost, and administrative nightmare. Most "illegal" immigrants in the UK are overstayers, we've already proven our inability to deal with such people.

You know that the best way to stop the rise of nationalism is by ties and join projects and cross-cultural communication something I have often heard, often from the people who despise Nigel Farage getting airtime.

And the Turkey expansion thing was a lie I didnt say Turkey- namely Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia.

So no, I don't see why you voted Brexit at all That's fine, you want to be so closed off, it's fine.
I hope to see a reduction in the number of low-skilled migrants to the UK. The net migration numbers to this country is a timebomb, (this does not mean I dont see the issue in under investment in our services- of course the issues we face arent entirely the fault of migrants) but I feel the numbers need to be lowered.

Report
Actionhasmagic · 29/11/2019 16:03

Yanbu

Report
Helmetbymidnight · 29/11/2019 16:57

thats it then? you want to see a reduction in low skilled migration to the eu- even though you admit we could have done it ourselves and even though we are in desperate need of migrants.

Confused

you genuinely thought a right wing slashing of environmental protections, supported by racists, seen a surge in racism, threatening the gfa, screwing Gibraltar, making us less strong as a political player on the world stage, making us economically weaker, making our science poorer, destroying our tech collaborations, losing us thousands of jobs and industries, losing us rights, screwing over millions of immigrants and emigrants was all worth it - to achieve that.

ok.

Report
OnlyFoolsnMothers · 29/11/2019 17:03

Helmetbymidnight clearly that part of what I said you want to latch on to- I did also say other points. Im really not trying to change your mind.

Report
Helmetbymidnight · 29/11/2019 17:10

all those costs you'll happily incur because you dont like low skilled immigration- even though you admit thats down to the uk govt, and we need low skilled immigration, and you dont like the expansion of the eu- even though we have/had a veto.

it just doesnt make sense. its not rational.

Report
instagramwilleatitself · 29/11/2019 17:11

@OnlyFoolsnMothers

I hope to see a reduction in the number of low-skilled migrants to the UK. The net migration numbers to this country is a timebomb, (this does not mean I dont see the issue in under investment in our services- of course the issues we face arent entirely the fault of migrants) but I feel the numbers need to be lowered.

Which sounds exactly like the sort of reasons that were oft quoted during the various waves of immigrations, be it West Indies, Ugandan and Kenyan Indians etc


Hugely interesting piece on how newspapers covered various migrations over the years. Reasons/nationalities/races change. The prejudice doesn't.

https://www.ippr.org/files/images/media/files/publication/2011/05/wp5scapegoatss_1359.pdf

Report
instagramwilleatitself · 29/11/2019 17:12

@OnlyFoolsnMothers

I hope to see a reduction in the number of low-skilled migrants to the UK. The net migration numbers to this country is a timebomb, (this does not mean I dont see the issue in under investment in our services- of course the issues we face arent entirely the fault of migrants) but I feel the numbers need to be lowered.

Which sounds exactly like the sort of reasons that were oft quoted during the various waves of immigrations, be it West Indies, Ugandan and Kenyan Indians etc


Hugely interesting piece on how newspapers covered various migrations over the years. Reasons/nationalities/races change. The prejudice doesn't.

https://www.ippr.org/files/images/media/files/publication/2011/05/wp5scapegoatss_1359.pdf

Report
OnlyFoolsnMothers · 29/11/2019 17:18

instagramwilleatitself Is 300k net migration a year to the UK sustainable? I am not anti-immigration, the UK would be lost without it.
It's supply and demand, basic economics.

Report
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.