Thursday, 21 April 2016

The Guardian: Despised, but voiceless – what it’s like to be an EU citizen in the UK

The Guardian: Despised, but voiceless – what it’s like to be an EU citizen in the UK

by Jakub Krupa

On the night of the EU referendum, millions of British voters will be waiting for the result that could define the country’s future. Another group of people will be following the vote count closely as well: the voiceless group of EU migrants for whom Brexit would change everything. They will watch the results coming in, their fate decided by other people’s rather uninformed vision of who they are and what they do.

Named and shamed throughout the campaign, the 3 million minority from all over Europe have reason to be worried. Although seen as the most important issue of the referendum campaign, they have been completely excluded from the debate – becoming the subject of the conversation, not participants.

Despite being part of British society, they will now face massive uncertainty: will they be able to stay and work in the UK? Will they need to report their moves to local authorities regularly, as if they were convicts that needed to be monitored for their suspicious activities? What about their families coming over for a few days? Will they need visas?

We are fortunate that Poles in the UK are not a lot angrier. They ought to be, given the contempt with which they are treated by our country.

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