Brexit forces Manchester's French families to 'choose a side'
'There was a complete shift in what the women were talking about'
“It was a shock. I stayed up all night. This is forever imprinted in my memory ... that night when I saw the shock coming.”
This is Sandrine speaking. She is a French woman living in Manchester. The night she is talking about is June 23rd, 2016. The day of the Brexit referendum.
“I will never forget this date because it was so important to me,” she says. “I love England, I have always loved their language and culture. It was part of me that was ... torn apart. I was torn apart. I was forced to be French ... and could not be both, which had suited me very well.”
Sandrine is one of many French mothers living in Greater Manchester interviewed for a study by Benedicte Brahic, a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and herself a French migrant who has lived in the UK since 2002. She arrived as a student in the Erasmus programme, which was set up to allow students free access in the European Union to study and live abroad.
Benedicte was interested in the experiences of other F…
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