Brexit Tension

Most of the people who contributed to this research were naturally drawn to giving an opinion on Brexit and how the EU Referendum campaign and results were driven by both institutionalised racism and personal racism. Some people even discussed experienced being the victim of racism during the EU Referendum/Brexit Period.

Collette discussed the patriotic attitudes of the post-retirement generation who predominantly voted to leave the European Union, despite it not being in the interest of younger generations. “Who in their right mind would vote to go out of Brexit, necessarily when you think about the future of our children…There are good reasons, bad reasons coming out of Brexit but at the end of the day, most people who voted to come out at Brexit was 60 odd [year olds] and retired people because of how they’ve felt about the UK and the patriotism and all that. That’s kind of where that came from.” Collette Raymond (Interviewed 13 November 2017)

Tré described how the EU Referendum results were used to validate racist views and how he even experienced racism while walking down the street shortly after the EU Referendum. “I don’t think Brexit increased racism, the thoughts were there it just allowed people to give them a voice, I think. Um, English people, they, like to keep things behind closed doors and then Brexit came along and the, um reason behind Brexit that the government used was immigration and when the referendum went through and it was 52 percent to 48 percent in favor of leaving the European Union, that was just the ticket to say… get out of our country and they could actually say it – without feeling bad about themselves but before that, if you said something like that in the street people would be up in arms about it, but after the vote – it’s fine.

I was in India when the Brexit vote came through and then I came back and I was walking down the Kettering Road and someone shouted some racial remark at me and I was like it’s 2016 – why is this happening? I didn’t expect it to happen, but it did, and it made me think that racism is still a problem and there’s no getting away from it!” Tré Ventour (Interviewed 07 March 2018)