migrantvoice
Speaking for Ourselves

Politicians must condemn hate crimes

Politicians must condemn hate crimes

MV

 Migrant Voice -
 Migrant Voice - Politicians must condemn hate crimes

In the wake of the referendum vote to leave the EU, and the surge in the number of racist and xenophobic incidents which followed, Migrant Voice calls on politicians on all sides to rally in support of the rights of European migrants living in the UK, using a tone which does not stir prejudice and hostility.
 
This is important because the debate about migration inevitably will intensify still further as the changes which politicians plan to put in place come under scrutiny in the coming months and years.
 
We are extremely concerned about the sudden increase in hate crimes and racism targeted at European nationals in different parts of the UK, as well as against other minorities such as Muslims, and its impact on our communities and on social cohesion. Those attacks and incidents, which are well-documented on social media, create tensions and play into the hands of extreme right-wing groups: politicians on all sides need to condemn such incidents and to reiterate what the UK stands for, which is tolerance and fairness, not hate speech and violence.
 
Politicians and public bodies will be addressing public anxiety, but it is equally important to address the fears and anxieties of the 3 million Europeans living and working in the UK: they are an integral part of our community and economy.
 
European migrants who have made the UK their home - nearly half of whom have lived here for over 10 years - need to be made to feel welcome again. The referendum debate created uncertainty and sometimes anger amongst European migrants, who like the 2.2 million Britons living in Europe, expect to be treated fairly and with respect.  Migrants’ views and feelings were clearly expressed at the meetings and discussions we held for our members in London, Birmingham and Glasgow in the lead up to the referendum, and in media interviews.
 
They feel left out of the debate even as their future hangs in the balance. As the subject of immigration has dominated the media over the past few months they feel demonised by negative campaigning:
 
“It is difficult to hear that people think you are a burden, and I don’t think I am”
 

“I understand that loads of people don’t like foreigners and I will always be a foreigner – the referendum made me feel more of a foreigner”
 
“I think in general the British attitudes towards immigration was very constructive and open minded, but recently it has sort of become a battle-ground for politicians.”
 
Nazek Ramadan

Director