Generation Brexit

What is Great Britain without Multiculturalism?

The Leave campaign which 'triumphed' the Brexit Referendum of June 2016 was undeniably tinged with anti-immigrant undertones accompanied by posters of masses of non-white people on their way to ‘invade’ Britain and take it to its ‘breaking point.’ Despite the fact that the EU arguably does not have as much influence or control over Britain’s immigration policy as was suggested by certain Brexiteers, the ‘let’s take back control of our borders’ narrative persisted nonetheless. This may explain why three in four Black voters and two in three Asian voters chose remain, not necessarily out of a love for the EU but perhaps out of fear of the rise of a xenophobic climate that would set the agenda for Britain’s post-Brexit future. The reality is that Brexit will hit Britain’s Black, Asian and ethnic minorities the worst, particularly from an economic perspective, as ethnic minorities in the UK tend to be in a lower economic position with low-paid work, spend more of their income on rent, have less savings and are most adversely impacted by austerity, making them more susceptible to the economic uncertainties that may result from a no-deal Brexit. 

Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine that Brexit will have the impetus to unravel the diversity and richness that multiculturalism has brought to Great Britain, after all, what is this greatness we speak of? On what is this greatness predicated? Is it not, at least, to a certain degree the success and longevity of the British Empire comprised of dominions, colonies, protectorates, territories as a result of which the political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacies are far too widespread to be undone by the realisation of a 58/42 split vote? This is not to downplay or ignore the rise of hate crime geared towards the most visible of ethnic minorities post-referendum or the prevalence of institutional and structural disparities and injustices that exist in British society today. However, what Brexit should represent is a  celebration of and recommitment to the economic and cultural contribution and value that minority groups have made and continue to make to Britain as well as further commitment to a more inclusive definition of what it means to be British.

No comments yet, be the first to post one!