MAKE MI­NOR­ITY GROUPS FEEL WEL­COME IN UK

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION - CHRIS SPRUYTENBURG Che­sham

IF I were a Pol­ish per­son liv­ing and work­ing in the UK, I would be quite anx­ious fol­low­ing the dev­as­tat­ing vote to leave the EU.

They might well say “We’re not wel­come here any more” but I would seek to re­as­sure them that the op­po­site is true.

Peo­ple of many na­tion­al­i­ties have set­tled in the UK and there is a size­able num­ber in Che­sham.

Only last week­end a new Pol­ish shop opened in Che­sham.

Don’t for­get, many Poles died in the war on the side of the al­lies and there has been a Pol­ish Club in Amer­sham for years

Although other na­tion­al­i­ties have put down roots in the town, the Poles have made the big­gest im­pact, wit­ness Brazil’s and the Tav­ern.

Here a fam­ily team has worked ex­tremely hard to es­tab­lish a suc­cess­ful en­ter­prise and they have be­come friends with many of us.

They pro­vide some­thing Che­sham needed – some­thing more than a cof­fee shop but not ex­clu­sively a restau­rant.

Staff are always friendly and the ser­vice is ex­cel­lent.

How­ever it was sig­nif­i­cant that talk­ing to one or two young peo­ple in town that one is so dis­gusted with the de­ci­sion that she may well em­i­grate to Spain “Be­cause I want to feel part of Europe – I don’t now!”

This de­ci­sion is pro­foundly wrong and was sold to the Bri­tish peo­ple on the ba­sis of a lie – sev­eral ac­tu­ally.

1) Jobs would not be at risk if we left Europe – in fact we’d be bet­ter off, they said

2) That get­ting out would make us great again.

3) That the cam­paign wasn’t about im­mi­gra­tion just con­trol­ling our bor­ders.

If whip­ping up anti-Euro­pean sen­ti­ment wasn’t bad enough, then the post­ing of racist slo­gans on houses in ar­eas where im­mi­grants live is ut­terly shame­ful.

In­stead of telling mem­bers of mi­nor­ity groups to ‘go home,’ we should seek to make them feel wel­come and re­alise that they con­trib­ute a great deal to our so­ci­ety and econ­omy.

I worked hard with my col­leagues in the Bet­ter, Stronger To­gether cam­paign and feel even more strongly that we have missed a great chance to ce­ment our re­la­tion­ship with Europe.

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