Lord Dubs: Brexit has made the country ‘meaner and nastier’

PUBLISHED: 14:25 04 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:38 04 December 2018

Labour peer Lord Dubs answering questions in front of the International Development Select Committee at the House of Commons. Photograph: PA.

Labour peer Lord Dubs answering questions in front of the International Development Select Committee at the House of Commons. Photograph: PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

World War II refugee and veteran politician Lord Dubs has said that Brexit poisoned the atmosphere and made the UK “meaner and nastier”.

The 86-year-old Labour peer said that the rhetoric of right-wing politicians was having a devastating effect on the country.

He told The Big Issue: “I think Brexit has certainly made us a meaner and nastier country. I knocked on a lot of doors during the referendum campaign and immigration was what they talked about.

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“I pointed out that I had been in hospital and everybody who looked after me was an immigrant. People replied that ‘it’s not the ones that are here, it’s the ones that are going to come’.

“There’s a fear factor built up by Boris Johnson and the Leave campaign saying that 80 million Turks were poised to enter Britain, which is complete nonsense. Brexit did poison the atmosphere.”

Lord Dubs was one of 10,000 Jewish children rescued and brought to the UK from Nazi-occupied Prague during World War II. He continues to campaign for child refugees to be given the same safe refuge he was given as a child.

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He said: “I had hoped the campaign for child refugees, which started before the Brexit referendum, would make us relaxed about all refugees and make it more acceptable. I think it was working, but the referendum set that back a bit.

He added: “Some of the tolerance is gone.”

Dubs was awarded the “Humanist of the Year” award in 2016 by the British Humanist Association.

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