Sunday, 12 June 2016

The ugly face of Brexit

Some England football fans chanted, “f**k off Europe, we’re all voting out” during violent clashes with police this weekend at the EURO 2016 championships in Marseille.

According to The Guardian, some of the England fans, many of them bare chested, also chanted “sit down if you hate the French”.

Video footage has been posted online showing ugly scenes of England fans pelting objects into the streets in old town, Marseille, showering the police with bottles and throwing chairs out of cafes.

According to newspaper reports, flares were also lit as officers deployed tear gas in an effort to disperse the troublemakers. Police later charged at fans as bottles were thrown.

Some England fans claimed that they were provoked by Russian and French fans, and the actions of French police. The violence in Marseille is now in its third day.

The vast majority of EU migrants and visitors in Britain are law abiding and upstanding citizens. Most EU migrants in the UK are in gainful employment, paying taxes, giving more to the country than they take, spending most of their earnings here, and making a positive contribution to Britain. 

For reasons that many cannot rationally comprehend, Brexiteers appear not to like EU migrants. They want to stop them coming to Britain, or at least to make it much more difficult. Even though those EU migrants contribute so much to Britain, and even though their numbers are small (just 5% of the population.)

No doubt this weekend many French people will also feel that they don’t want British people going there, being violent and damaging their town. 

When rioting England football fans shout, “f**k off Europe, we’re all voting out” their French hosts may well wish to respond “Au Revoir”.

But there are many of us in Britain who don’t want to say ‘Au Revoir’ to France or to Europe. We don’t relate to the actions or sentiments of just some England fans – no doubt a very small minority – causing trouble in France this weekend. 

We sincerely hope that on 24 June, Britain will still be a member of the EU, and still good allies with our European neighbours. 


Other articles by Jon Danzig:


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