Laure Ollivier-Minns’ speech for the book launch of ‘In Limbo’ on 26th July 2017

I don’t feel at home anymore…

I’ve been settled in Britain for 31 years, but I don’t feel at home anymore.

I’ve been married to a Brit for 27 years and I have British children. But… as the rules stand, I don’t qualify for Permanent Residency and settled status because I don’t meet the Home Office criteria.

This is not the country I fell in love with all those years ago… I was so impressed with the forward thinking and open minded attitude when I arrived. I felt tolerated, accepted… even though the Brits liked to take the mickey at my French accent; I used to feel part of this community and never experienced being treated like an outsider since 1986.

It is hard, after spending all my adult life here, that I don’t feel valued in this country anymore since the referendum result.

I feel so insulted. I am a European oddity, a bargaining chip and just a ‘bloody foreigner’ to some. To the Home Office, to this government, I am an ‘unworthy migrant’!

I feel utterly betrayed and feel nothing but contempt to those in denial of this cruel and humiliating treatment we are subject to.

Complacency is dangerous

No longer recognising this country, I can’t seem to shake this profound sadness that engulfs me.

This uncertainty, this rise in xenophobia, this abuse on our human rights is intolerable.

When it comes to safety, complacency is dangerous. What saddens me the most is seeing this country falling apart and the general apathy disgusts me.

This gross discrimination is an attack to my identity and my individuality.

My children left home years ago, and this past year, I am wondering every day, have I served my purpose here?

 

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