Al Jazeera

Migrants to UK face political backlash as election looms

Chatham, United Kingdom – For hundreds of years, ships set sail from Chatham’s Royal Dockyards to extend and enforce British power and influence around the globe. Now the world has come to Chatham.

New shops catering to migrant tastes are re-shaping Chatham's high street. [Simon Hooper]

New shops catering to migrant tastes are re-shaping Chatham’s high street. [Simon Hooper]

Shop fronts on the southern English port town’s busy high street advertise foods from Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Turkey and SIM cards offering cheap international calls, while halal butchers and kebab grills vie for customers alongside traditional pubs, fish and chip shops and Indian and Chinese takeaways.

Such cultural diversity has become commonplace in many British towns since 2004, when the expansion of the European Union brought an influx of workers from Poland and other central and eastern European countries.

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