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Migrant Poles worry over Brexit sentiment

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 01:30

The English town of Boston, dubbed by British tabloids as ''the most Eastern European town in Britain'', has long attracted Poles to the regional agriculture industry. But, as Sara Hemrajani reports, Boston is seeing divisions over immigration and jobs ahead of the in-out referendum.

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Stocking essentials from home, nearly a thousand miles away in the English town of Boston. Dubbed by the tabloids as "the most Eastern European town in Britain", Boston's migrant community is paying close attention to the Brexit referendum. Immigration, in particular, has become a heated issue for both sides, sparking debates over jobs and social services. "Leave" campaigners say EU migrants are partly responsible for long waiting lists for housing and doctor's appointments. SOUNDBITE: Jonathan Noble, Boston UKIP Councillor, saying (English): "They are concerned about not immigration per se, but the amount of immigration because obviously foreign nationals coming to this part of the country are competing with local people for jobs. It has had the effect of depressing wages and increasing the cost of housing as well." "Remain" supporters argue otherwise, saying Europeans, as a whole, pay more into the UK than they take out. That sentiment is echoed by many Polish workers. SOUNDBITE: Karol Sokolowski, Polish worker in Boston, saying (English): "Can you imagine that all the immigrants in one or two days had to leave Boston? The town will die. Half of the country will die." More than 2 million EU migrants are thought to be working in Britain, that's about 7 percent of the labour force. If the UK does decide to stay in the EU, some are now worried that the divisions among population could take much longer to heal.

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Migrant Poles worry over Brexit sentiment

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 01:30