This week, we’re bringing you something a bit different. Recorded at the recent British Sociological Association conference, Michaela and Chantelle present their recently published work on what Brexit means to British People of Colour living in the EU27.
The demographic of the People’s Vote march was notably different to other demos I have been on recently. The march saw between 300,000 to a million turn out (depending on who you speak to) and watching the marchers gather, I had a flashback to three months ago, when people flocked to the Home Office protest for the Stansted 15. This was another issue tied to citizenship and immigration, but at the People’s Vote, there were many, many more white faces in the crowd.
The anti-Brexit movement, to me, looks like a very white and middle class one – and I know many other people of colour feel the same way. But this seems paradoxical considering that Brexit will affect us as much as anyone else, and immigrants’ place in the country was so central to the initial debate. I spoke to campaigners, lobbyists and researchers to find out why.
In her contribution to our 12 days of Brexit Brits Abroad feature, Chantelle Lewis reflects on her initial conversations with Britons of colour who have made their homes and lives in the EU27. As she describes, their lives and migration challenge assumptions of the British who have made other European countries their homes. And as Brexit reframes the question of who is British along racial lines, they express their enhanced anxieties about where they belong.