Has anyone had any experiences with xenophobia in the UK recently?
I haven't been to the UK for quite a while now, and London is one of the destinations I had in mind for our wedding anniversary in August.
However, I'm worried that we might not be welcome there, hailing from continental Europe and all that. Looking at recent reader comments in English newspapers, the UK's natives seem to be seething with animosity towards EU citizens, especially since the Brexit referendum.
So I wonder whether it might be best to leave this island alone for a while. What do you all think?
[ Edit: Edited on 17-Jul-2016, at 01:00 by Rainer Dynszis ]
I think that's just the media. The British are unchanged - there's some degree of racism but only what there always was, and part of our culture is a reserve and not voicing such things. If you found it fine before, I doubt you'll see a difference.
For many of us the recent Brexit vote was a rejection of the machine of the European Union, not of people or friendship.
There was a very well publicised spate of incidents, largely aimed at people from overseas who are living in the UK, in the immediate aftermath of the referendum decision. This kind of thing is doubtless the actions of a small minority of people in the UK, who have always felt this way, but likely felt emboldened by the outcome. Most British people have, I think, been outraged by these acts.
It seems to me that peoples' behaviour has now settled back to normal, so I sincerely hope that further acts are unlikely. It saddens, but does not surprise me that you should have such concerns, but I think you would find that you would have no issue if you visit.
In particular, you mentioned coming to London, and in fact, in the central areas especially, there was a big majority in favour of staying in the EU. London is very used to having visitors from across the world, and I am sure you would be very welcome.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding anniversary by the way.
I think you'll be absolutely fine. Also if it makes any difference London voted to be in the EU so that might help as well
On the plus side the UK Pound had taken a dive since the Brexit vote, so your Euros will buy you more.
On the negative side, you will be giving your money to a country that has rejected you.
I'm not sure the comment about a country rejecting people is especially helpful. Rainer has understandable concerns given the issues that occurred in the UK and is looking for advice about it.
The country hasn't rejected him, or others. London, where he has said he is thinking of, voted overwhelmingly to remain. Nationally, 48% voted remain. Of the 52% that voted to leave, the repeated message is that it is the body of the EU they are rejecting, not Europe or its people. In reality, many people appear to have used the vote as a protest against our own internal politics.
There was a strong anti immigration factor, which was whipped up by some of the leave faction and media, but even that was mostly perceived concerns about the strain placed on housing, NHS and jobs - which would only be relevant to those wishing to live and work in the UK, not to visit as Rainer is intending. I know only too well that there are some who are anti-foreigner, as in any country, but they are still the minority - not the 'country'.
Absolutely tabithag. A vote to change our political situation should not be whipped into anything different, however much it may sell newspapers.
Thank you all for your encouraging replies, and thank you Tabithag for the congratulations.
I'm not merely worried because there was a referendum, I'm worried because of an apparent increase in unfriendly behaviour. There was a widely disseminated report about a woman named "Karen" that I found particularly disturbing, saying:
Karen moved to Britain from Germany in the 1970s but since Thursday's vote, she's become terrified as she faced a series of xenophobic attacks. [..] From having dog excrement thrown at her door to friends telling her they don't want to see her again, Karen gave a harrowing account of how she now feels unwelcome in the country where she made her home. "I haven't been out of the house for three days," she sobbed. "My neighbours told me they don't want me living in this road. My friend's grandson got beaten up because he had a foreign grandmother. I'm so scared, I don't know what's going to happen next."
Either way, our flight is booked, I'll report back if we make it out alive and there's anything to report
[ Edit: Edited on 23-Jul-2016, at 23:48 by Rainer Dynszis ]