In Great Yarmouth, Colin Goffin, who is vice-principal of an educational trust, was told about taunts and jeers being directed at eastern European workers by 10am on Friday morning – just hours after the results of the referendum had been announced. Goffin went to see a Kosovan-born friend, the manager of a car wash, to discuss the vote. In the Norfolk coastal town, 72% had voted to leave.
“I wanted him to know that I didn’t agree with the decision, or the way that the issue of immigration had been used in the campaign,” Goffin says. But when he arrived, the abuse against the multinational staff had already begun. “He told me people were slowing down to laugh at his staff, wave and mouth ‘goodbye’,” Goffin says. “They had clearly not wasted any time in deciding to be hateful.”