Lithuanian fears of Brexit: thugs, visa restrictions and blame-the-migrant


Lietuvos Rytas has interviewed some Lithuanians about their take in Brexit.

Stasė Kazlauskienė, Kaunas:

“My children have been living in England for almost ten years. Two of them have graduated from colleges there, they have jobs and hope that they will not be forced to leave even if British voters decide to leave the European Union. […] We have gotten used to feeling free and travel unrestricted across Europe. I would hate if our citizens were classified once again into acceptable and not acceptable.”

Janina Baublienė, Panevėžys:

“All hooligans and racketeers from our street have emigrated to England. I would not be happy at all if they returned and started rampaging again. From what I’ve heard, they are not exactly in clean businesses in London. Only one has a legal job in construction.”

Daiva Budrienė, journalist, London:

“Last weekend, I travelled about 100 kilometres south of London. I was surprised to see posters in the windows, on balconies and cars: ‘Vote: leave’. Writings on cyclists’ vests: ‘Vote: out’. The Brits seem to be resolute about this. I spotted only one sign in a blue background: ‘Remain in’.”

Jūratė Bernotienė, interpreter, London:

“I am, as the English say, relaxed, since this country has never made a decision to turn things upside down. The English are doing everything protractedly, calmly and after careful deliberation. In most cases, they take into account everyone’s interest. On the other hand, I am glad that such a referendum is taking place, because it shows that each nation can freely choose to be or not to be part of any organization, even if it is the best in the world. The EU now emits a bureaucratic stink. Referenda can help kick inertia out of the apparatus, their reluctance to listen to other arguments, their arrogance.”

Petras Tverijonas, priest, St. Casimir Parish, London:

“I look at the situation as a Lithuanian and I do have some fears. Fears about the security of all Europe. We are all concerned about how it will end. If Europe starts splitting up, democracy will weaken and dictatorial forces will grow, wherever they be: England, France or Lithuania.

“Clearly, those Lithuanians who live here [in the UK] will not be expelled and driven out in echelons – this is not a dictatorship! But if there are economic problems, the last-generation migrants would be the ones to suffer. In all times, they would blame migrants for economic problems. That’s just how things are.”

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