Welwyn Hatfield’s EU nationals have shared their views on the Brexit uncertainty and whether they still feel welcome in the UK.
Michal Siewniak, of Welwyn Garden City, said:
“We are part of the local social, economical and cultural fabric.”
He reported feeling like a ‘second class citizen’ and has started to look for opportunities elsewhere.
“Being stigmatized and labelled takes away our sense of belonging to the country which many of us have made our home.
“I hope that after this whole process is completed, we will all take time to step back, reflect on what has happened, heal wounds and try to bring back the whole community together.”
Mariusz Olasik, 39 who lives on Ingles, said he was worried he may have made a bad decision to come back to the UK.
“I feel uncertain as to what is going to happen. We lived in Welwyn Garden City for six years and then moved to Poland for a year to give it a try.
It seems there are more jobs there than here nowadays. I think we have made a mistake returning to Welwyn.”
Mariusz works with fish tanks and has a ten-year-old daughter also.
Edi Galluci, 42, of Panshanger, said he has had a positive experience living in Welwyn Garden City for over 14 years.
“I find it very welcoming.“I am a parent governor of a local school. I have not faced any negativity from anybody.”
However, he said he was worried for his friends who do not have British citizenship.
Sabine Bond, of Hatfield, also has similar concerns.
She works as an account manager and has a ten-year-old daughter.
The 47-year-old said she “feels safe here in England” as she has a British husband and has been in Welwyn Hatfield since 1998.
“I have noticed more hostility since Brexit though. As a German, I have always had people make comments about Hitler and that has become more aggressive over recent years.”
She said that she senses less tolerance towards difference since Brexit and she worries for EU nationals with less stability here than she has.
It appears that there are mixed reviews from Welwyn Hatfield’s EU nationals.
However, it seems that Brexit has somewhat shaken our community.
Reproduced with kind permission: