Kathleen Nutt

EUROPEAN nationals feel safer and more welcome in Scotland than England following the Brexit vote, according to the first major research project investigating their response to last June’s referendum.

Edinburgh-based charity Feniks carried out a survey of 657 people living on both sides of the Border after it was flooded with concerns from Poles and other Eastern Europeans worried about their right to remain in the UK.

It found 80 per cent of those who took part experienced feelings of shock, sadness, anxiety and confusion in the days following the leave win. But it also revealed the impact on EU nationals in England was worse than on those in Scotland. When we compare the results of the survey with respect to where the respondents live, we can observe some interesting trends,” said the report published earlier this week.

“Seventeen per cent of those living in England indicated they didn’t feel very safe or not at all safe, but only nine per cent of those living in Scotland. Ninety one per cent of participants in Scotland felt safe or very safe in the area they live in, compared with 83 per cent in England.”

The study entitled “EU nationals’ reaction and long-term consequences of the EU referendum” also found almost a third (32 per cent) said they felt less welcome in England since the referendum on 23 June compared to 16 per cent who felt less welcome in Scotland.

And asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how much at home they felt in the UK after the referendum, 57 per cent of those living in Scotland gave a response between 8 and 10, compared to 34 per cent of participants who gave that response in England. Magda Czarnecka, project development manager, said she believed the Brexit referendum result and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s message to EU nationals on 24 June that they were welcome in Scotland may have made those living north of the Border feel less vulnerable.