May Tell Polish Migrants They Are Welcome Despite Brexit ‘Hate Crime’ Claims

British Prime Minister Theresa May

WARSAW (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May sought to reassure Poles living in Britain that they are welcome despite increased reports of abuse in the wake of the country’s vote to leave the European Union.

“I want to be clear that Poles living in the UK continue to be welcome, we value the contribution they make to our country,” she said on Thursday following a meeting with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo in Warsaw.

“We condemn the shameful and despicable attacks against Polish communities and others in the wake of the referendum result.”

In the days following the June 23 referendum, the Polish embassy in London said it was deeply concerned about what it said were incidents of xenophobic abuse directed against the Polish community.

There are about 790,000 Poles living in Britain according to official figures from 2014, the second-largest overseas-born population in the country after those from India.

(Reporting by Jakub Iglewski, writing by William James, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)