Boris Johnson's Brexit will do nothing to protect marginalised communities

PUBLISHED: 10:19 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:19 31 July 2019

An anti-Boris Johnson protest in Russell Square, London on the day he became prime minister. (Steve Parsons/PA)

An anti-Boris Johnson protest in Russell Square, London on the day he became prime minister. (Steve Parsons/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

The potential harms of a no-deal Brexit are astronomical all of us but, as LAUREN PEMBERTON-NELSON argues, what could be in store for marginalised communities is particularly concerning.

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In the three years of Brexit shambles, many here in the UK looked to America for a bit of light relief. Brexit is a disaster, but at least we don't have Trump. Last week, we lost that diverting pastime and gained our very own blonde-haired Trumpian figure. Boris Johnson is the new Conservative party leader, and Prime Minister of the UK. Like Trump, Johnson is a wreckless politician and now that he and his cabinet of hard Brexiteers are in charge, the risk of a harmful Brexit has multiplied - especially for marginalised communities.

Johnson hasn't been shy about the fact that he's willing to force through a no-deal Brexit in order to stick to the current Brexit cliff edge of October 31st. But when just 1.4% of the population voted for the new leader, he doesn't have the mandate to force through whatever form of Brexit he wants. And especially when Boris' Brexit increases the risks to minority communities who stand to be disproportionately impacted. The majority of ethnic minorities voted for Remain, as did the majority of LGBT+ people, 72% of whom support a People's Vote. Their interests are completely at odds with where our government is taking us.

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Johnson claimed in his speech that he wants to unite the country and deliver Brexit - but these are contradictory endeavours if the public is not given a final say on Brexit. If Brexit is pushed through in less than 100 days time, the increase in hate crime that ethnic minorities and LGBT+ people have experienced in the last three years will only worsen. But it's not just the escalation of hate crime that threatens minority communities. They also face higher healthcare, economic and employment risks. The only way to mitigate these risks is to give people another say on Brexit.

An anti-Boris Johnson protest in Russell Square, London on the day he became prime minister. (Steve Parsons/PA)An anti-Boris Johnson protest in Russell Square, London on the day he became prime minister. (Steve Parsons/PA)

The no-deal Brexit Johnson threatens the UK with further magnifies the harms that Brexit may have on demographics such as ethnic minorities. Johnson's plan - to suddenly fix of all catastrophes that Brexit has and will cause - is undeliverable and rationally untenable especially if he does go down the no deal route. And his track record for offensive comments towards marginalised communities and being referred to as the "British Trump" by Trump himself causes further doubt that Boris Johnson will achieve a Brexit - especially a no-deal Brexit - that doesn't harm some demographics more than others.

With less than 100 days to go until Brexit Hallow's Eve, the stakes are high and we have little time as Johnson tries to push us out of the EU by any means necessary. That's why it's important, now more than ever before, to do everything in our power to make sure that we are given a final say. The potential harms are astronomical all of us - but what could be in store for marginalised communities is particularly worrying. If you're worried about the risks of Brexit on minority communities, sign the Ethnic Minorities for a People's Vote petition and LGBT+ for a People's Vote petition as we continue to campaign for a final vote on Brexit.

We need to do everything we can. The 98.6% of us who didn't vote for Johnson must hold him - and the 1.4% who did - to account.

- Lauren is the campaigns manager for the Ethnic Minorities for a People's Vote and LGBT+ for a People's Vote campaigns.

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