Remainers need to start listening

Yesterday, as with most Saturdays, Bristol for Europe were out in the city, signing up supporters and talking to the myriad of individuals who wandered past our two vibrant stalls on College Green. 


And as per usual, the majority of those we spoke to were either wholeheartedly supportive or entirely nonchalant, with the occasional strange glance. However, there are often one or two individuals who have something more confrontational and less supportive to say.


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Another nice mess

“Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.” (Oliver Hardy)

Sounds familiar? Did any of us realise just how difficult, how complicated and how potentially damaging Brexit is turning out to be?

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The first Annual General Meeting of Bristol for Europe was held at the YHA, Bristol on Tuesday 21st November 2017.

Andy Brown delivered his Chair's annual report and the former mayor of Bristol George Ferguson addressed the meeting after the formal business was completed.

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Last Saturday I was out on the streets of Bristol with my friends campaigning to remain in the EU, as we do most weekends. It was a crisp autumn day in Stokes Croft, and we were squashed into a narrow space in front of Hamilton House. Lots of people were keen to sign up.  I noticed a mature woman, hovering behind them, listening to conversations.  Her body language showed her irritation. She approached me with an accusatory tone:

 “You are a Remainer!”

 I said “yes”

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The incredible lies of the Brexit utopia

From claiming there will be no chance that planes will be grounded after Brexit to boldly announcing that the Irish border is “not going to change” regardless of the deal that will emerge in the Spring of 2019, transport secretary Chris Grayling certainly makes some bold statements.

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Brexit won't happen. It is too difficult to do.

It is no wonder that the Prime Minister looks so drawn, harassed and exhausted.  Even if she were  highly competent with a clear sense of direction and with a cabinet that fully backed her, the task she seeks to accomplish is sisyphean - or less elegantly expressed, like a dung beetle repeatedly pushing its s**t uphill.

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South West Rally at College Green Bristol 14th October

About two thousand people crammed into College Green as a march led by Bath for Europe arrived from Queen Square.  Flags were flying, banners unfurled and whistles were blowing.  Holding the banners were Wera Hobhouse the Bath Lib Dem MP and Julie Girling the Conservative MEP, Clare Moody MEP along with Labour MPs Darren Jones, Thangam Debbonaire.  Kerry McCarthy also joined us.  Quite a line up.

Molly Scott Cato, our Green MEP, opened the rally and was soon followed by Dr Mike Galsworthy from Scientists for EU (pictured here).

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Bristol for Europe at the Manchester Stop Brexit march and rally

Over fifty Bristol for Europe activists made the trip to Manchester this weekend to take part in the Stop Brexit march and subsequent rally.  It coincided with the Conservative Party conference that started on Sunday 1st October.

Most of us went on a coach organised by Sam Hickmott on our behalf.  With flags and T Shirts loaded down below we climbed aboard for what proved to be a memorable day.

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The Great British Illusion

I am a German citizen living in the UK.  It worries me how easily propagandists through history use the technique of blaming everything on the enemy.  This construction of “us” and “the others”, the fine mix of half decent facts among a stream of outright lies, the invocation of our own entitlement versus the lavishness of the enemy. We have seen it before. But is there something we can learn from history?  Yes, but it may be hard for the British to swallow.

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Since 2010, the government has done all it can to make immigration to and settlement in the UK as difficult as possible for migrants coming from outside the EU. We have seen extensive restrictions on workers, students and family members, including the infamous minimum income requirement of £18,600 pa to sponsor a spouse or partner, which has led to the separation of thousands of parents and children. Non-EU migrants in the UK without permission have long been unable to work legally but now they may not rent accommodation, open a bank account or drive a car. Unsurprisingly, these restrictions have had a negative impact on all migrants, not just those with no right to be here, and on the UK’s ethnic minorities. As Home Secretary, Theresa May promised a ‘hostile environment’ for irregular migrants and she has not only delivered but has exceeded her commitment.

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