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Brexit after six years: For Europeans living in the UK, the wound is still open

LONDON – Six years later, Brexit remains an “open wound” for European citizens residing in Great Britain, according to a survey published today on the anniversary of the referendum on June 23, 2016.

The shock of the outcome faded then, but the decision of 52% of British citizens to leave the European Union still has negative repercussions for the millions of Europeans who have settled in the UK. Many who chose to stay even after Brexit now feel betrayed, in a precarious and insecure position and have lost faith in their adopted home.

The survey conducted by several British universities for Megazen Project Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, it sought the opinion of hundreds of European citizens who had resided in Great Britain for more than five years in 2016 and who therefore had the right to a permanent residence permit or ‘settled status’.

Concerns remain after Britain leaves the European Union

However, the right to residency did not appear to have allayed their fears. Brexit has had “a profound and lasting impact on the lives and sense of identity and belonging of European citizens in the UK – explains Nando Seguna, Professor of Sociology at the University of Birmingham, Head of the Department of International Migration and lead author of the study. Here we are talking about Brexit. As something that has been done and outdated, but for European citizens it remains an open wound.”

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The fallout from Brexit continues to affect the daily lives of European citizens and their opinion of the country in which they live, with a marked decline in trust in British institutions and the political class. 72% of survey respondents said they had an emotional attachment to the UK, but 89% admitted they had a less positive opinion. The words most used by respondents were “disappointment,” “betrayal,” “sadness,” “frustration,” “anger,” and “disgust,” with many expressing an unpleasant feeling of being unwelcome.

Earl Warner

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