British Refugees Welcome: is Madrid really welcoming Brexit exiles?

Satirical meme turns solidarity banner on Spanish capital's City Hall for Syrians fleeing war into internet hit

The phony banner on Madrid City Hall.
The phony banner on Madrid City Hall.

In September 2015, Madrid's mayor hung a large sign outside City Hall to show the capital's solidarity with the refugees fleeing war in Syria and elsewhere.

The message, displayed in large letters, in English, was “Refugees Welcome,” and it was meant to show that the Spanish capital was willing to take in asylum seekers.

Now, that sign has been humorously tampered with to reflect the recent Brexit vote that will take Britain out of the European Union.

The Photoshopped image of the landmark Madrid building draped in a huge sign reading “British Refugees Welcome” has drawn numerous comments from British netizens who appreciate the joke.

But the meme originated in Spain, not the UK. It began when a Twitter user named @camiloenmadrid uploaded the picture on Friday afternoon. A day later, he explained how he had subsequently seen  the image shared on Imgur, the website that tracks the most popular snapshots on the web.

The doctored image made such waves that Snopes, which specializes in debunking phony news, felt compelled to post a story confirming that the whole thing was a joke and that British refugees fleeing Brexit will have to wait in line like everybody else.

English version by Susana Urra.


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