A Message to My International Friends in the UK

Brexit, just over a week in, and it’s utter madness.

I’m sure everyone is aware of the turmoil the UK is facing after it’s people voted (by a very slim majority) to leave the European Union. Since the result, Prime minister David Cameron has announced he would resign, Scotland is seeking independence (again), the opposition (Labour Party) has been in upheaval and, most worryingly of all, there’s been a huge rise in racist attacks across the UK. That is just some of the many happenings as the UK, and our European friends, face a long, chaotic period of uncertainty.

Regardless of how they voted, it is difficult enough for the British to deal with this huge change, but for international citizens studying, working and living here, I can only imagine it’s worse. It may feel as though the UK has stuck it’s middle finger up at the rest of the world, and it may feel as though you’re not welcome here, but let it be known that whilst we face this unclear period in politics, there is a voice that speaks shouts out for you. Beyond the 48.1% of people who wanted to remain in the EU, many Leave supporters are shouting out for you too. We hear you, we appreciate you, we love you, we support you and we will continue to fight for you. I and many others are simply unhappy to call a country “my country” or “our country” if we can’t share it with our international friends.

I truly believe that those coming across from other parts of the world are giving things to the United Kingdom which we need to support our top-heavy society. I personally backed remaining in the EU, I’ve been proudly explicit about this. I am a proud British man, but that does not interfere with the fact that I am also a proud European.

Along with the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and many from Labour and The Conservative parties, I will fight for restrictions to be knocked down, for freedom of movements, goods, services and capital. I will fight to welcome new minds, new perspectives, new abilities, new possibilities and new friends into Britain. I will fight to keep the UK a diverse mix of people, because I truly think it thrives off of this diversity.

Overall, whilst there are many ways British (and European) politics could go in the next few months and years, I hope that you, my international friends, can hear the huge number of voices which are shouting out for you over anything else. I hope you know that Nigel Farage does not speak for the majority of the British population. I hope you always feel welcome here in Britain.