Is Xenophobia on the rise post Brexit?

brexit
eu

(Daisy Forrest) #1

In the weeks since the Brexit referendum, many European nationals living in the UK have reported sensing a rise of xenophobic feeling towards them. As unpleasant as it is, xenophobia was bound to figure in the aftermath of the referendum as the Leave campaign was supported by many people who want to end all forms of immigration to the UK.

But surprisingly there have also been anecdotal reports – mainly relayed by social media, of Brits experiencing this kind of thing in France, from French people.

Has anybody here experienced any anti-expat sentiment recently ? Has the feeling always been there, only due to recent developments the French now maybe feel more justified in expressing it ? Maybe they feel like the vote is a rejection of their European identity and thus of their country ? Or maybe we're all a bit tense and paranoid at the moment about what our European counterparts may be thinking of us…


(Mandy Davies) #2

Nothing like that here in the southern Tarn. The French people I have spoken to about Brexit have expressed shock and disbelief at the decision. One person has said that Britain wasn't really properly part of Europe anyway so it won't be much of a loss.


(Barbara Deane) #3

James I know how serious the topic is.

And I am serious about it too!

I suppose that journalists have the right to use SF for their enquiries.....

I am very sensative to this topic relating to the exit of UK from the European unioun.

Sometimes I am suprised by SF.....you let the naught ones go scott free!

I


(James Higginson) #4

Daisy is my daughter.


(Barbara Deane) #5

James I am not suprised!

By your reaction.

And because you scolded me for posing a question.

And the fact that she lives in Landes....

But before the vote, during the vote and now we are hearing so many stories

from journalists, many of course have been a little contrived.

Makes me sceptical and unsure about what to believe, what to read

and when the truth will be known.


(Barbara Deane) #6

And I have now become aquianted with Lemony Sticket!


(Hilary Jane Dunk) #7

Hello Daisy,

No, I have to say I haven't encountered anything of the sort here (I'm close to Bergerac), but then I am very lucky, in that I have very nice neighbours (a mixture of English and French),in my little enclave and we are very much at ease with each other.

I think the French are just as cynical about aspects of the EU (the French Government and politicians in general) as the Brits....and Brexit was about much more than just a reaction to uncontrolled immigration......and if one looks at the 'catch up' of todays European parliament debate on 'The Daily Politics'...it is apparent that one good thing to come out of the Brexit for the EU, is that they will have to reform some of their practices..by leaving we have made that more likely..

I must take issue with your statement ' as the Leave campaign was supported by many people who want to end all forms of immigration to the UK.'......Most people I know who voted that way was because they want to regain control, return powers to the UK parliament and were fearful (despite David Cameron's assurances) of a continuing move to 'ever closer union' and being part of a Federal Europe. There was also the issue of wasteful expenditure as highlighted in Jeremy Paxman's programme and the Toby Young video (which I have previously posted), but here are the links for you...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUwk7rS2ppY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9Ce8mx2nCQ

Hope this helps your research...


(Catharine Higginson) #8

I'd just like to point out that my daughter is neither a journo nor a researcher - just an interested young voter!


(Barbara Deane) #9

Well we have interesting times ahead.....claiming our rights to be citizens here in

France or doing something which enables us to stay here as most of us have no wish to return

to UK. Most of my French friends and associates feel that the British exit is mad but we have

not experienced any negative reactions from French people.


(Mark Rimmer) #10

I make it clear to my french neighbours where I stand on the issue & suggest that the brexiteers are as mad as a fish. My postman agrees, my newsagent likewise. They are sympathetic. I have heard rumours that the odd brit has been verbally lashed for being a brit & abandoning Europe even though they were remainers!

Have not seen any of our brexiteers pointing out the benefits of a falling pound or a leaderless Britain - interesting that the brexit leaders have suddenly lost interest in Britain now that they have won having persuaded the deluded to vote out they are suddenly saying "you voted for it, you sort it out because I haven't a clue!"

Never mind, I'm sure someone will be found to renegociate a trade deal similar to the one we already had as an EU member & now not likely to have again. But then I would always be suspicious of a family member who stabbed half of my relations but now claims to be "cured". To the extent that I would not share a house with them.


(Caroline Mills) #11

Nothing like that here, just some sympathy that our country is in such a mess. Those who created that mess should be forced to sort it out, not allowed to just resign and run for the hills.


(bryan slater) #12

Nothing but sympathy over the stupidity of our politicians up here along the Marne near Paris


(Howard Perry) #13

Having spent a couple of years near Paris, I noticed that flights from CDG terminal 2D to UK are segregated in a little section furthest from check-in due to necessity of passport control due UK self-imposed isolation from the rest of Europe. Brits have to walk further than others. Contrast that with flights to the rest of Europe, where you are made to feel you are still in the same country. Only when you travel by car between Schengen countries, do you notice that there used to be a border but the only evidence is reduced speed due to French police monitoring, because of recent terror attacks, and the old now empty customs buildings. Britain has always been the odd man out and over the years I've seen my continental friends' attitudes change from anger and frustration with UK due to Thatcher's demands to indifference to now, but if you are a Brit there, you are treated as a equal.


(anon88981270) #14

I don't get out much myself so I'm not sure of local reactions. The day after the vote I felt that I was being stared at a bit at the school gates but that could have just been me being paranoid.

I'll relay a conversation between my son and his mates that day when they came to collect him to go off to the free music festival for the weekend.

Hugs, and bisous all round and he says 'guys, the UK has voted to leave the EU', with a shocked expression. One of his mates says 'so? the hairs are still on my arm' (points to his arm). 'Eh?' from my puzzled son. 'Makes no difference - and won't, nothing will change.' My son says 'Ah but what if Marine le Pen gets in and the French exit next?' and his mate replies 'It still won't make any difference to you - it's only the Arabs they want to get rid of'. Big laughs all round (and them all pretending to hit him round the head) and he tells them he's going to apply for naturalisation, just in case, and they all agree he's been here so long he's French now anyway so that's a good idea. Then they start packing to get off to the music festival. He's had no conversation with anyone about it since.

My nine year old came home from school that day and said his teacher knew all about the result but said she isn't going to change their Europe project just yet as it will only change back again later, when they change their minds. I had a meeting with her about my son's progress and it never got a mention, so I don't think it's way up there in the consciousness (though it may be now since a lot has happened in the time since the vote).

I've heard and read a few comments about negative attitudes but I can't help but wonder if the attitudes would have been there anyway or if any sort of negative behaviour experienced may be being wrongly associated with Brexit because it's in all of our minds. Paranoia. I hope so, anyway.


(Hilary Jane Dunk) #15

Caroline,

Can't agree with this.....Cameron, I think has 'done the right thing', in the difficult circumstances....the negotiations need to be headed up by a Brexiter and a 'Fresh face', in order to get the best exit deal we can. The fact that it will be a woman will also help....


(anon88981270) #16

Actually I think in some ways the fiasco has been good from one point of view - the amount of information being published about the status of British people in France and how things have worked while we've been in the EU.

I've had comments in the past about how British people live over here, don't pay taxes and get healthcare without contributing into the system, especially all the old peope who have never paid in and now benefit from it. They really seem unaware of how the EU works and how pensioners' healthcare is paid for by the UK or even how their own system works and how inactive people have to pay into the system just like a French person does and declare global income just like a French person does. I've always put them right when I've heard them or given my kids the information to put their friends right when they hear it from them (obviously coming from their parents).

I've noticed articles on the subject of Brexit which go into detail about the worries of British expats and can't help thinking it's a good thing that these articles mention that the UK covers the costs of the many pensioners' healthcare and that one worry is that in future they might have to pay into PUMA instead, which will be an extra expense, like early retired inactive people currently do, as they're not covered by contributions from an activity. Also that the many people who are active here, either employed or running a business, are worried that they will need to apply for visas etc. I think it all explains the situation of Brits over here in a much more helpful light than many French people have previously assumed is their position.


(Mark Rimmer) #17

"negotiations need to be headed up by a Brexiter..." You just have to find one who will stand by their beliefs (& has children, apparently).


(Caroline Mills) #18

Cameron was going anyway, and he was a Remain. I was thinking of Boris who convinced the masses to vote Leave, then abandoned the resulting chaos.


(Shelley Sauvignet) #19

Personally have seen no impact of the vote and never experienced any racism in my 10 years here. I think that those that go looking for problems / excuses in this area will undoubtedly find it. Unfortunately there are too many enclaves of British immigrants in France where little, if any, French is spoken and there is a reluctance to accept the ways and habits of the locals - some people who want to create their idealised plot of rural British life but with a better climate and cheap wine. I find that people here are very accepting provided you make the effort to communicate and integrate. If you look for xenophobic attitudes you will probably find them but this is a universal truth and nothing to do with Brexit.


(Jane Williamson) #20

Our Mayor said that he would make us French citizens and all neighbours want us to stay.