European migrants living in the UK have launched an anti-Brexit ‘Hug a Brit’ campaign to ‘love-bomb’ UK into voting to remain within in the European Union (EU).
More than 2 million EU citizens currently live the UK. They are now being encouraged to bombard social media with pictures of themselves hugging random Brits under the hashtags #PleaseDontGoUK and #hugabrit, in the hope we will be move to vote remain.
Critics, however, have pointed out that Brits do not naturally favour public displays of affection, and that the implicit message of the campaign is that leaving the EU means we don’t “love” our fellow Europeans.
A website (pleasedontgouk.com) and Social Media campaign have been launch, and hundreds of photos have already been uploaded. Several celebrities, too, such a Jarvis Cooker from the band Pulp, have already been drawn in.
“Please add your name, nationality, what you love about the UK and/or your British friend and why you don’t want them and the UK to leave the EU. You can also upload directly to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook under #hugabrit”, announced the Facebook page.
— Roberta Cucuzza (@larobby) April 7, 2016
Rosella Soravia, from Italy, wrote about her friend Saul: “I know Saul from going to boarding school in Malvern, where I spend the best two years of my life thanks to the great English humour and its great education.”
Tessa Szyszkowitz, one of the founders of #hugabrit and a UK correspondent for the Austrian news magazine Pro Europa, confessed that the nature of the campaign was a little at odds with British cultural norms.
“We have encountered some difficulties in our attempts to overcome the traditional British reluctance towards physical contact, but we are happy to take up this challenge for a higher cause. In truth, I think the Brits like to get hugged as long as you ask politely”, she told the Guardian.
One Katrin Lock, a German who has lived in London for seven years, who has got involved in the campaign told the Local:
“It’s a little bit hippy, but a little bit of hippiness is needed. People are always arguing about cucumbers and shower caps. We wanted to do something positive instead of just talking about rules and regulations.
“It’s a love-bomb for the UK.”