“Brexit will contribute nothing to strengthening civil society, much less to greater integration of minorities. And even less to their recognition as ethnic minorities. Since the Brexit referendum the living conditions of many immigrants have become tougher in more than one respect. The Latin-American community is now equally vulnerable to attacks and the dire consequences of the Brexit referendum.”
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Much has been written about the negative consequences that the ‘Leave’ vote in the Brexit referendum will have for British and foreign-born immigrants alike.
The “Leave” campaign in the UK’s EU referendum was a coalition of different interests, some pro-free trade, others protectionist, some racist, others cosmopolitan.
Legal challenges demanding parliamentary debates are progressing. The bigger picture requires us to join up with ordinary Europeans and assert our identity as citizens not mere consumers.
It is possible that the European Union, various decades on from its first appearance, has not met the expectations of the citizens of its member states.
How could Brexit affect the process recognition of ethnic minorities and the need for a greater cohesion between minorities and society in general?
The questions that began to emerge on the 23rd of June 2016 are many. We get together with a lawyer to provide answers to the most common and important ones.
So far we have seen an increase in the demand for legal advisors, doubts and instability among workers and volunteers, and an increase in hate crimes against immigrants.
Until the process of separation between the UK and the European Union begins, the legal situation for the citizens of any member state and their families will remain the same as before.
Children and young people are left feeling anxious and insecure, women are victims of racism and sexism at work, school and on public transport, an even more negative rhetoric on immigration.
Britain’s exit from the European Union has dealt a great blow to the residence status of Latin American women who have a European passport, as they do not have permanent residence.
In educational institutions, foreign teachers and students feel at risk of discrimination and deportation. This threatens to destroy diversity in British universities, and foreign students.
The Ecuadorian consulate is working to keep Latin Americans informed. Although Brexit has not yet happened, the community is facing possible restrictions in terms of free circulation in Europe.
Still, without negotiations, the Colombian Embassy is clear on how it will proceed: working to reach an agreement that protects its compatriots as much as gains made in trade and investment.
EU immigrants are its main target, included amongst whom are a large proportion of Latin Americans with European passports. It represents an opportunity for solidarity.
Work and activism
More restrictions, raids and much interest in as cheap a workforce as possible due to the result of Brexit. We can’t hope for the EU to be this kind-hearted body.
Brexit was a “poorly conceived strategy” for many, triggering a devaluation of the currency and a possible loss of jobs that will see Latin Americans having to return to their native countries.
A future exists where economic recession, redundancy, higher levels of discrimination and a slump in Latino population growth is possible. This is now the situation this community faces.
The UK would decide in a referendum whether or not to leave the EU, politicians, business owners, analysts and the international community were hoping that the UK would remain in Europe.