‘The Big Proposition’
In 2015, a display opened at Imperial War Museum North, telling the story of people who arrived in Britain during the Second World War—chiefly from continental Europe, America and the British Empire—and of what happened to them when the war was over.1 A museum visitor commented, ‘People post-war wanted Polish fighters to leave despite the help we were given—sad reflection of “Brexit Britain” ’. The comment was prompted by a panel in the display on Polish soldiers and airmen. Many were in Britain during the Second World War and lost their lives fighting alongside British forces. But when a Gallup Poll was held in Britain in June 1946, asking people whether they agreed with a government decision to allow Poles who wanted to remain in Britain to do so, more than half answered ‘no’....
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