Czech PM: Hate attacks in UK after Brexit are future of Europe if EU falls
On Friday, 7 October, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) said the British decision to leave the European Union has led to foreign nationals becoming targeted for assault in Britain. He believes a similar error must not be repeated in any other EU country, otherwise Europe will be smashed by its own hatreds and nationalism.
Sobotka also warned that negotiations about the future form of the relationships between Britain and the remaining EU states will be harsh. He also recalled incidents of recent months in which a Czech citizen was murdered in London in September and a mob killed a Polish citizen in Harlow in August.
"Now we are being shown the actually very unpleasant face of British nationalism, which was strongly supported by the Brexit result. This is just a taste of how Europe might turn out if, God forbid, we do not manage to keep the EU together. National grudges and hatreds would begin to crash down upon us," the Czech PM said.
During the negotiations between the EU and London, which should begin next year, Sobotka said he anticipates harsh clashes if the British side will not be willing to back down. "It will be a certain dilemma to negotiate a good agreement. We must protect the employees in Great Britain who are our citizens and at the same time not allow Britain to distance itself too much," the PM said.
Sobotka believes it is in the interest of the Czech Republic to maintain close relations with London. Brexit, in his view, is also an opportunity for the other EU countries to take over part of the EU investments that otherwise would have been sent to Britain.
"On the other hand, it will be negative because the British, within the framework of the European Union, and frequently in collaboration with the Visegrad Four countries, used to support resistance to protectionism and the mainteance of the free European market. We will miss Britain in the EU," the PM said.
The Visegrad group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) will, according to Sobotka, still be a good platform for advocating Czech interests inside the EU. However, the PM emphasized that it is not the only form of collaboration that the Czech Republic takes advantage of in the EU.
"Our policy has always been focused on doing our best to have good relations in Europe, we do our best to have friends there," Sobotka said. He stressed in that context, for example, the country's strategic dialogue with Germany.
The PM has also rejected some statements by Western politicians that the Visegrad group is against the EU. "The V4 has never functioned and never will function as an instrument for breaking up the EU," he said.
The murder of the Czech citizen in London took place during the week of 19 September. Sobotka said on 29 September that a hate attack was responsible for the death.
- Czech Republic: More proof that TV Prima manipulated its reporting about Romani people returning post-Brexit
- England: Roma immigrant in Sheffield will not risk traveling abroad after Brexit win
- František Kostlán: Brexit is unwelcome because the British are great. Let's not be vindictive.
- UK: "No More Polish Vermin" - adherents of Brexit assault foreigners on the streets
- UK police officer Petr Torák: I'm still in shock over Brexit
- Romea.cz survey: Roma from abroad living in Britain fear for their future after Brexit
- Pavel Botoš: Brexit will cause big problems for Romani families from abroad now living in Britain
- Brexit: Great Britain says it wants to leave the European Union
- Petr Torák, Romani police officer, on Brexit: I believe we will remain
- UK: MP Cox, who opposed "Brexit" and supported refugee reception, has been murdered
- Bulgaria: Scandal over EU-financed training to detect alleged "radicalization" of Roma, activists say money was used to boost anti-Romani sentiment
- European Roma Rights Centre reports on human rights violations against Romani people during the pandemic this spring
- Analysis: European populists lose their charm to scandals, trials and unpaid debts
- UK quarantine for travelers arriving from Czech Republic begins tomorrow
- Czech MP publishes long-refuted fake video purporting to show "refugees" attacking a police vehicle
- UK: Thousands of Czech citizens, mainly Roma, don't have the documents they need to apply for settled status
- Slovak tabloid covers funeral of Romani woman as spectacle
- Zeljko Jovanovic: European leaders' silence over Orban's anti-Roma rhetoric shames the EU
- Daniela Abraham: The antigypsyist violence of my childhood is still happening in Central Europe
- Czech MEPs welcome European Commission lawsuit against Austria over different allowances for non-expatriate children of EU workers
- Romani Union of Slovakia: Police brutality against children must be investigated by independent commission, the ministry could be biased
- Slovak Govt Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities says she belives police brutality incident will be properly investigated, officer has been transferred