‘Brexit’ vote worries European immigrants living in Britain

The New York Times reports: For years, Britain’s relatively vibrant economy has attracted a steady flow of young people fleeing a lack of opportunity in their home countries on the Continent. London in particular is full of young Europeans, who have helped give the city its dynamic, global feel. From entrepreneurs, bankers and fashion designers to artists, waiters and students, all are free to resettle in Britain and make their futures here without so much as a visa.

No one knows for sure what would happen to them if Britain voted to leave the European Union — their immigration status would have to be worked out in the negotiations that would follow — but the debate itself has left some of the young people feeling fearful, frustrated and even angry.

“Maybe I’m too much of a drama queen, but I feel that it’s such a bold statement against immigrants and Europeans,” said Alejandro Macías, 31, a Spaniard who lived in Germany before moving to Britain to work in an audience research company.

If Britain votes out, three-quarters of citizens from other European Union countries who are working in the country would not meet current visa requirements for overseas workers, according to a report by the Migration Observatory at Oxford University. The impact would be greatest for workers in agriculture and the hospitality industry, it said.

There are concerns that London in particular would suffer if the flow of skilled immigrants fell. About a million European Union citizens from other countries work in London, a city of more than 8.5 million people. [Continue reading…]

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