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How to pass for English – to avoid being verbally abused in a post-Brexit society

If you’re an expat like me, you’re sure to have noticed that since Britain voted to leave the EU, there have been a lot of news reports about hate speech directed against foreigners. 

You need to know how to protect yourself.

Here are some tips for passing yourself off as English, so you can pass through the country incognito, without worrying about being told to “Fuck off back to your own country.” 

I’m emphasising “English” because there’s no point trying to pass yourself off as Scottish or Northern Irish – they voted pro-Europe, you’re far less likely to be called “EU vermin” in those nations. There’s also no point trying to pass yourself off as Welsh, even though they are decidedly anti-EU, because as a Welsh person you still face the prospect of abuse from English people. No, really, the only option to be sure to prevent yourself from being castigated, demonised or assaulted is to pretend to be English. Here’s how to do it: 

Don’t talk to anyone

Wherever you’re from, your biggest risk of being discovered as an EU undesirable will come every time you open your mouth. English people are obsessed with accents, and every time you speak, you run the risk of a beating. Best to say as little as possible. Thankfully, English people generally detest human interaction, so it will not seem unusual for you to spend an entire day without uttering a single word. 

If you must talk, practice your accent

I can’t really think of any scenarios where you will have to do much talking in England. But if you absolutely must speak to other English people, say as little as possible, and do so in some approximation of an English accent. The BBC offers some helpful tips. One of their best bits of advice is to learn one sentence extremely well – a “key phrase” that you can practice over and over again until you get it right. Here’s a suggested key phrase to get you started: “I was born in this country, please stop hitting me.” 

Don’t leave London

Most of London is a designated safe zone for EU “scum” like you and me. It’ll be easier to pass for English in a city where virtually no one is from England. Avoid danger zones such as the midlands, much of the north up to the Scottish border and most of all: Essex. Your best bet is just to stay in the capital, at least until Mr Gove begins mass deportations in a couple of years, but when that happens, nowhere will really be safe. 

Dress as a football hooligan

Study this footage of English football fans terrorising Roma children in France from a few days ago, and just go out and purchase similar clothing from Sports Direct. Sorry if the footage isn’t clear, don’t worry though, there are dozens of other similar incidents just like this have been captured on video in recent days for you to study! With your Wayne Rooney England football jersey and your Lonsdale shorts, everyone will assume you’re a victimiser, and not a potential victim. Problem sorted. 

Learn Brexit code words and phrases

I assume you’ve been practising your English accent, and that, in your Wayne Rooney kit, you’re walking around confidently now, with little fear of being seen as one of the 48%. But if a 52%’er does engage with you, you need to know what to say, and not just how to say it. Try to sprinkle some of these phrases into your conversation – I’ve supplied a translation, so you know what message you’re really sending across: 

  • I voted leave :
    I voted for the immigrants to leave
  • I just want my country back.
    I don’t have a job and I blame the immigrants
  • We pay too much to Europe :
    I have no idea how economics works
  • Sovereignty :
    Xenophobia
  • Control our borders :
    Keep out the muslims
  • The economy is fine, these are short-term jitters
    Holy shit, we broke the country, if it gets worse we’ll have to blame the immigrants

Be really bad at football

Lastly, if you happen to be from Iceland, Italy, Poland, Germany, Portugal, Belgium or France then you must be careful either never to play football while you are in England, or if you do, you must play very poorly, lest you be discovered by the more vituperative followers of Mr Farage and Mr Johnson. This is where that Wayne Rooney jersey you purchased from Sports Direct will come in handy. Just play like Wayne, knocking that football way over the heads of your teammates. That’s just about the most English thing you can do! Maybe you’re not such a vile piece of European vermin after all!

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