Battling Brexit in Barcelona!

Battling Brexit in Barcelona!

On Thursday 3 October, I took the train up to Barcelona to take part in two events organised by Mamen Candela and Amy Holden of Europeans for Catalonia. The first event was an hour-long radio interview, alongside Debbie Williams, Chair of Brexpats-Hear our Voice. We discussed all things Brexit-related, especially in regard to our rights, and our campaigns. You can listen to the radio show, by tuning in here.

Cooltura FM radio station

The second event was a sell-out meeting of European citizens, mostly British and Spanish, at the Princess Hotel. Besides Debbie and me, there were two other speakers – Hedwig Hegtermans of the 3Million campaign group, representing European citizens in the UK, and Elena Remigi, founder of the In Limbo Project. As well as many members of Bremain in Spain, we were also delighted to have EU Supergirl, Madeleina Kay, in our audience. The presentations were well received, and a lively debate followed, with many questions from the audience. Once the event was over, we all retired to the bar to continue the discussions and to put the Brexit world to rights!

My fellow presenters had this to say, following the event:

Debbie Williams: “This really was a showcase event, promoting European collaboration and demonstrating that the spirit of the European Union is alive and well. Thanks to my friends and fellow campaigners Elena, Sue and Hedwig, the “girly swots”, for their outstanding commitment and knowledge”.

Hedwig Hegtermans: “I felt the evening covered many of the different facets Brexit put us in. The audience was wonderful, very engaged and asking important questions. It was a pleasure to be part of it”.

Elena Remigi: “The event proved how cooperation and solidarity always bear good fruit and how we can achieve greater things if we work together. I was touched by the response to the testimonies and how the audience engaged, asking what they could do. This is the sign of how these stories moved consciences”.

Audience at BCN

A special thanks, from us all, to the organisers, for giving us the opportunity to spread the word that our rights matter, and that there is everything to play for. As Mamen said afterwards, “This event has raised awareness about the extremely difficult situation faced by EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU. The speakers showed the human impact of Brexit, highlighted the importance of healing the divisions, and encouraged the audience to take action to stop Brexit and protect our rights”.

Mamen also kindly shared with us this comment from a British friend, who attended the event: “Frankly, I had not given much thought to the impact of Brexit on EU citizens in the UK before, but obviously they suffer great uncertainty now. I am rather embarrassed to be British now. I will write to my MP and MEP this weekend”.

Thank you again to everyone involved – the organisers, the speakers, and the audience. We’re all in this together, and we can all contribute, so get writing, get lobbying and get involved! We may not all be in Catalonia, but we are all Europeans, and long may it stay that way!

You can read more about Europeans in Catalonia here.

Sue Wilson, Chair of Bremain in Spain

Sue EIC
Bremainers at BCN
Manchester ‘Defend Our Democracy’ Rally Sunday Sept 29 2019

Manchester ‘Defend Our Democracy’ Rally Sunday Sept 29 2019

Sunday September 29 sees the ‘Defend our Democracy’ rally take place in Manchester and our Chair Sue Wilson has been invited to speak. 

About the event:

The ‘Defend our Democracy’ demonstration is grassroots led, born out of the March for Change on 20 July and the 36 demonstrations across the country that took place on 7 September. The event, in partnership with Manchester for Europe, calls for Britain to Reject Brexit and to respect the rule of law and our democracy. It is led by a coalition of eight pro-European organisations coming together at a time of national crisis, four of which were founding members of the People’s Vote campaign. This timely event will take place outside the Conservative Party conference.There will be speakers and activists from across the political spectrum; this is an issue that brings together people of all views and backgrounds.

It is bigger than party politics and strikes to the heart of our shared values and democratic culture. We are keen to unite rather than divide so we encourage speakers to use inclusive language that takes into account our broad church and the strength and breadth of support at the heart of our movement. The speakers will be a mix of politicians, activists and ordinary people who care deeply about the future of our country and believe staying in the EU is best for Britain. Some kept campaigning against Brexit when most members of the political elite had given up hope; others, including some who voted for Brexit in 2016, are newer recruits to our cause.

The key messages for the demo are as follows:

● This is a time of national emergency: Boris Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament
is a sign of desperation, not strength. The Supreme Court has ruled that it was unlawful,
showing just how low he is willing to go to pursue to push his Brexit through without a
mandate or due scrutiny. We are mobilising urgently on all fronts to defend our
democracy and institutions. This is no longer just about stopping a no-deal Brexit. The
UK is the home of parliamentary democracy. It’s our job to keep it that way.

● We are a Remain Country . Brexit is not the will of the people. Every poll this year has
shown a clear and growing majority for our EU membership.

● We can’t fix Britain if we fixate on Brexit. Politicians have wasted three years
arguing about Europe. During this time, the crisis in housing, schools’ funding and the
NHS have worsened. We can do better than this.

We will not just be saying “no” to Boris and “no” to Brexit. We will be saying “yes” to Europe. People will speak with passion about how we can fix the country’s real problems if we stop fixating about Brexit. The list of problems is endless – the NHS, the climate crisis, knife crime, child poverty, opportunities for young people, care of the elderly, social mobility, lack of investment in large swathes of our country for decades and so forth. We will have the money, time and power to fix these problems if we stay in the EU.

Timings:

1400h: Crowds assemble in Whitworth Park, Manchester M14 4PQ
1445h: March begins
1530h: Arrive at Castlefield Bowl, Manchester M3 4JR
1600h: Rally begins
1730h: Rally ends
1745h: Crowds disperse

Speakers:

Peter Tatchell , human rights campaigner, Gina Dowding , Green Party MEP, Julie Ward , Labour Party MEP, Mohammed Amin , Chair of the Islam and Liberty Network & former Chair of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Helen Atkinson , Manchester for Europe, James Mellor , Remainer Now, Louise Houghton , South Yorkshire for Europe, Mandu Reid , leader of the Women’s Equality Party, Mike Galsworthy , NHS Against Brexit, Jessica Moll , Scientists for EU, Jordan Byrne , Young Conservatives for a People’s Vote, Sarah Judge , Manchester City councillor, Dan Price , Warrington councillor, Sue Wilson , Bremain in Spain,Daniel Paterson, Best for Britain.

You can find more information about the event here.

SB DOD

Bremain are Marching for Change – London 20th July

Bremain are Marching for Change – London 20th July

Today Bremain in Spain are Marching for Change in London. We’ll be bringing you photos from the March as Bremainers travel along the route.

“We can’t fix Britain by fixating on Brexit.
Days before he is sworn in as Prime Minister, let’s make it clear to Boris Johnson that we want to stop the Brexit chaos.
This is a national emergency. We won’t put up with a hard Brexit PM being imposed on the country and hurtling us towards the cliff edge.
We can only solve the big global challenges – from climate change to terrorism – by working with Europe and the rest of the World.
We can build that better tomorrow through the most successful peace project in history.”

 

No to Boris. Yes to Europe.

Sue Wilson’s Speech – Bremain in Spain Chair
at the March for Change Rally London

Missed the March?
Watch it in full here courtesy of Ruptly TV

‘Let Us Vote’ Campaign

‘Let Us Vote’ Campaign

On April 05 2019, the ‘Let Us Vote’ campaign was launched with support from several MPs, Peers, citizens rights groups and the film director Mike Leigh. 

‘Let Us Vote’ is a campaign to allow all UK residents, and all UK citizens living abroad, to vote in general elections and referendums.

In General Elections and in referendums such as the 2016 EU referendum, UK residents from countries outside of the Commonwealth and Ireland cannot vote. Neither can UK citizens living abroad for more than 15 years.

All together, up to 10 million people are denied a vote by the current rules: 7 million UK residents and 3 million UK citizens abroad.

You can follow the campaign, write to your MP and sign the petition here

 

Let Us Vote

The campaign has already attracted quite a bit of media attention and you can read more by clicking the links below:

Huffington Post

The Independent

The Independent also includes an article by Jane Golding – Chair of British in Europe, who explains the need for  electoral reform. 

Update 11 May 2019

The ‘Let Us Vote’ campaign launch was on Wednesday 8th May in the Palace of Westminster. Bremain Chair, Sue Wilson, was fortunate to be in London to attend and here is her update:

‘The event was hosted by Another Europe is possible, British in Europe and the 3Million, who are jointly responsible for the project. The campaign aim is to restore voting rights to 10 million people who are disenfranchised & unable to vote – both Brits abroad & foreign-born citizens resident in the UK.

The panel was made up of representatives of the groups involved, but also Claude Moraes (Labour MEP), Alberto Costa (Conservative MP) and Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Labour MP).

The passion and commitment from all those involved in the campaign was a joy to behold, and the audience were very engaged, asking lots of questions. There was also an opportunity to talk to the panel on a 1-2-1 basis afterwards and to network with many dedicated campaigners.

Whilst nobody expects that the campaign will be easy, or quick, with the commitment and passion shown, we all came away very positive about the chances of success. We will keep you posted about future developments as and when they happen.’

 

Let us vote postcard