A Romanian man said he left the UK after 16 years because he felt Eastern European people, especially from his country, were not wanted after the Brexit referendum.
Speaking to LBC’s Matt Frei, Claudiu said left the UK just before Christmas despite loving the country for “everything it has done for him”.
Claudiu, who spent a lot of his personal finances to “educate himself and learn the language”, said he tried his best to be part of the British society and he felt that was the case.
But since Brexit, he felt there was “a lot more very aggressive nationalism”.
He said: “I felt people frowned upon me because I was Romanian and I felt a bit like, come on, I am just another guy, who cares where I am from? I’m just another human being.
“I feel like part of the UK has just turned aggressive against people like me.”
‘I just talk to people from other countries’
He suggested people reacted in a hostile manner upon finding out he was from Romania and said that when finding out someone’s country of origin he would just “start talking to that person”.
“If someone tells me ‘I’m Italian’, I reply ‘Oh, nice to meet you’ and all of that, and I start talking to that person, I don’t care where that person is from,” Claudiu said.
He added: “There was this attitude towards people coming from Eastern Europe in the past few years, and to a certain extent I do understand people who say ‘we’ve had enough of all this’.
“But people like me, I came to the UK to live with a purpose. I just wanted to understand the culture, the language, the people. I wasn’t ignorant towards the British culture.”
Claudiu said he used to work for a large pub company in the UK, and he praised the staff and the “wonderful training”.
He is one of the many EU workers in UK hospitality who decided to leave the country as a result of Brexit, prompting the industry to struggle with recruitment.
But upon being left with no job and money, he was offered a job in Romania as a tennis coach, which he also has training in.
He said: “I came here, I started working here and it was okay, I had enough money to support myself and my wife who is in her final year at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy.
“If the paperwork for my wife to come back to the UK is going to be difficult and it’s going to be a difficult journey for us, then I am not willing to put up with all that stuff, because at the end of the day, we have one life, and one life only. I want to enjoy this life.”
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