The Polish national conservative government wants to persuade the emigrants to return, the Tories campaign for a stay

How many stay, how many go? The Poles, with around one million people the largest national minority in the UK, and their response to the upcoming Brexit concern the British and Polish public. The Polish national-conservative government wants to persuade them to return, the Torys campaign for a stay.

The conservative Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita says that there is a trend towards remigration; only 38 percent of Poles have applied for "Settled Status" – a kind of compulsory residence permit for the period after Brexit. This request had already been made by the Romanians and Bulgaria on the island 80 percent; the procedure must be completed by the end of 2020. The next withdrawal date is January 31st.

Already last year, 116,000 Poles left the UK, and the Polish embassy in London expects that 80 percent of them have returned to their home country. "The Poles want to go home as the pound's price falls because of Brexit uncertainty and because the quality of life in Poland is changing for the better", [Link auf sagt]says Ambassador Arkady Rzegowcki.

The Polish ruling party "Law and Justice" (PiS) is currently working hard for the return of compatriots. Before the elections won by right-wing conservatives, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki sought to return home and promised further social packages such as 13th and 14th pensions and a doubling of the minimum wage. The return of Poles from Western European countries thus becomes a matter of prestige for the "change to the good," as the national-conservative revolution is officially called.

However, the average Polish wage is slightly more than the equivalent of 1,000 euros gross, in the UK at around 2800 euros gross. Also, the Polish government has not presented a concept of how to facilitate the return to their homeland for a large number of returnees.

Many of the Conservatives in the UK, after the Brexit vote in 2016 compared to the immigrants who migrated to the UK with the EU enlargement from 2004, rather unruly in the tone, this has changed. "Your rights will be defended, whatever happens," said PM Boris Johnson to Poland in the UK at the end of October. In the new elections, scheduled for December 12 for the lower house, so far lead the Conservatives under Johnson.

The deputy Mark Francois even recently emphasized the importance of the Polish Jagdstaffel Division 303 in the Battle of Britain in 1940. Balm for many patriotic inhabitants of the Vistula.

"I do not know any company here that does not work in Poland"

A Brexodus does not seem to want the British economy right now, Polish workers are needed. "I do not know any company here that does not work in Poland," says Krzysztof Kotowski, a psychologist in Peterborough, in the agrarian East of England, opposite Telepolis. In addition, many Poles, in contrast to the later arrived Romanians and Bulgarians have reached higher positions, had more to lose. But in conversation with his patients, he hears especially of return plans.

"We Poles are specific, we postpone everything," says Jaroslaw Kozminski, the editor-in-chief of the Polish exile newspaper Tydzien Polski in London at the request of Telepolis. Many of his compatriots would live in a Polish ghetto in Great Britain. Above all, it was important to them that the closer (Polish) environment was right. Kosminski believes that the Poles will first wait for Brexit and then decide quickly. Thanks to the cheap air travel deals, the Poles are more mobile and no longer as isolated from their homeland as they once were and could compare.

In conversations with Poles, the author of these lines has repeatedly been told different things, from experienced perceptible rejection to the absence of any discourtesy. The aversion to immigrants, however, seems to be growing in the UK. At least on the internet. The Gdynia-based AI start-up "Samurai Labs" has witnessed an increase in incitement of Poles in the UK's social media by 50 percent over the previous year.

The British police commissioned the Polish specialists for this research, who work with the "third generation of Artificial Intelligence". Even sarcasm should already be able to be deciphered by the Polish program. Should the British aversion not be limited to social media and become noticeable in the everyday life of Poles in the UK, can this have a significant impact on the Blackbox "Go or Stay?" to have.
(Jens Mattern)