In partnership with the3million, we wrote to the Prime Minister on the eve of the General Election, asking him to apologise for his comments scapegoating EU citizens and migrants.
In an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sunday on 8 December, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson made a statement that EU citizens have been able to “treat the UK as if it’s part of their own country” for too long. This statement insinuated that EU citizens and other migrants have overstayed their welcome, and vilified them for making the UK their home, just like some UK nationals make other EU countries their home.
And yet, a few weeks ago, he had called EU citizens “friends, family and neighbours” and praised them for their contributions to our country.
We do not believe its difficult to demonstrate how positively people from around the world who have made this country their home have benefited the UK economically, but more importantly, how they have enhanced our culture and society.
We are, unfortunately, all too familiar with the rise in hate crimes since the EU referendum because of the negative rhetoric on immigration. Therefore, in an era of polarisation, we asked him to realise the weight his words have — words and language matter.
EU citizens and migrants are interwoven in the fabric of our society, and they will continue to be so regardless of the outcome of this election and post-Brexit.
With 29 other organisations, we have written to the Prime Minister asking for an apology for his comments and are urging him not to scapegoat EU citizens and migrants now, or in the future.
Read the letter and see the full list of signatories here: Letter to the Prime Minister- Your Words Matter
View the Independent article on the letter here