Local EU Nationals react to Brexit

Updated: May 6, 2021

By Chloe Olivia Sladden

In a recent Welwyn Hatfield Times article by Laura Bill, EU nationals living in the local Herts area told of their experiences and views on life in the UK with Brexit, where some were positive and some were negative, resulting in mixed views on the subject.

From Panshanger, Edi Gallucci, 42, said he had a more positive time, from having spent over 14 years in Welwyn.

He commented: “I find it very welcoming” adding “I have not faced any negativity from anybody”. However, Edi is concerned for people he knows, that do not have Citizenship in Britain.

Although, Welwyn based Michal Siewniak, commented: “We are part of the local, social and economical, and cultural fabric” of the area. In the time of Brexit, Michal suggests he felt he was “a second class citizen”.

He went on to say: “Being stigmatized and labelled takes away our sense of belonging to the country which many of us have made our home”.

Mariusz Olasik, who is 39, and based in Ingles, talks of Brexit after returning to the UK from Poland. He said: “to give it a try” after having spent 6 years in Welwyn.

He says: “I feel uncertain as to what is going to happen”.

Mariusz then said: “It seems there are more jobs there [in Poland] than here nowadays. ‘I think we have made a mistake returning to Welwyn’”.

Also, in Hatfield, Sabine Bond, 47, also has concerns about Brexit. She said: [She] feels safe here in England”. Sabine says the reasons for her feeling safe are due to having lived in Welwyn for over 20 years (since 1998) along with having a British husband.

Sabine added: “I have noticed more hostility since Brexit though. ‘As a German, I have always had people make comments about Hitler and that has become more aggressive over recent years”.

It seems the local community of Welwyn Hatfield has taken both positive and negative views towards being an EU national, during Brexit.

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