Is Brexit causing prejudice against Irish expats in the UK?

Published:  26 Aug at 6 PM
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UK expats are being warned over a Brexit-linked increase in anti-British sentiment in Ireland.

In the 20 years following the Good Friday agreement, anti-British feelings in the Republic of Ireland waned to an almost negligible amount, but the 2016 referendum seems to have ignited a new wave of resentment against the UK and its citizens. At the same time, anti-Irish sentiment in the UK is on the increase. The British government and the British people are now being seen as audacious for even attempting to destabilise the precious peace agreement and its benefits to both sides of the border by leaving the EU and its commitment to free borders.

It’s clear that many Britons view Ireland as an upstart which should stay in its place whilst the grown-ups play politics, but the views of many Irish on both sides of the border include Britain as a coloniser which isn’t averse to bullying to get what it wants. As a result of a survey by the Irish Times, it’s clear that Irish citizens living in the UK are experiencing a degree of anti-Irish feelings, with some respondents noting it feels similar to the late 1980s.

For expats from the Republic of Ireland living and working in the UK, the immediate effects of any type of Brexit will include a loss of freedom of movement to and from the north as well as to the UK for work-related trips or to visit friends and family living in Britain. Irish politicians are responding in a manner likely to not be helpful to the overall situation, as may also be expected from southern Irish expats in the UK as well as those from the north who are afraid the ‘troubles' may return as a result of a hard Brexit. It’s up to politicians on both sides of the Irish Sea to come together and preserve the hard-won peace.
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