May’s ‘queue jumpers’ comments show the UK has taken a wrong turn

PUBLISHED: 09:13 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:14 29 November 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment.

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment.

Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

I am struck by the comments of Theresa May that her Brexit plan will stop EU migrants “jumping the queue” when it comes to working in the UK.

How low the UK has sunk that its Brexiteer government is now resorting to spreading resentment towards European citizens, classing them as “queue jumpers”? These individuals took no part in this mess and work here legally. They contribute to the country in so many different ways.

They have the same general right of freedom of movement that allows British people the opportunity to work in Berlin and Paris, or retire in Spain.

Even so, their reward seems to be an increasingly hostile atmosphere. May makes no mention of those British “queue jumpers” in other EU countries, symptomatic no doubt of the same attitude that classes those Brits abroad

as “expats”, while those from the other EU countries who come to work here are “immigrants”, an increasingly negative term.

Since the referendum in 2016 there has been an alarming increase in both veiled and more explicit verbal abuse to EU nationals, and this will no doubt increase as the negative impacts of Brexit become clearer and scapegoats will be required. Step forward those innocent EU nationals in our midst.

The UK has taken a wrong turn, as exhibited by the dog-whistle politics of May and her Tory government.

Alex Orr

Edinburgh

Why do so many prominent Brexiters feel entitled to hurl insults like “bullies”, “dictators”, etc, at all the leaders of the other 27 EU countries? After all, it’s not a faceless Brussels or EU which is in command; it is those heads of state who, by voting in EU presidents, giving guidelines to Brexit negotiators and having a final say, are ultimately responsible for the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

“I do think we’re being bullied,” complained Dominic Raab on the last Marr Show, “I do think we’re being subject to what’s pretty close to blackmail,” concluding his rant with a dismissive “we cannot accept those dictator terms”.

Unless Raab was just using the show as a stage to make an early bid for premiership? Admittedly, these hyperbolic comments must have been music to the ears of the famously eurosceptic 1922 Committee and Tory party members. However, they will not have been appreciated by any of those 27 proud European leaders or their respective nations. But Raab will probably not lose much sleep over what he possibly regards as an insignificant detail.

“This is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland!” he pompously declared for viewers at home. As if no other EU nation was entitled to express national pride.

After all, he should know, his own father was a Czech national. Whether he is proud of it or not, Raab is a typical European.

Paul Smith

I’m cock-a-hoop today. The slightest way I can reiterate my support for the EU and for Leavers to taste their own bile delights me.

This time it’s cost me £75, but it’s worth every penny from an annual pension which, if I didn’t fritter it all away on food and living expenses, would get me a second hand 2012 high mileage Audi.

The reason for foolish delight? Online, I cashed in the remaining years on my EU burgundy passport to renew it early, ensuring for the next ten years I shall have an EU burgundy passport. And as I have to again renew my 70+ driving licence next March, I hope to have the EU symbol on it for another three years. I’ll be doing that well in advance too.

Small personal satisfactions in a mad world.

Jack Hughes

• What do you think? Send your letters for publication in The New European to letters@theneweuropean.co.uk

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