The 12 Successes of our European Christmas

There’s no doubt it’s been a difficult year for pro-Europeans. Nevertheless, as 2016 draws to a close, we can also look back an intense period of development - and success – for Bristol for Europe.

Our humble beginnings at the start of the summer involved a handful of organisers of three pro-EU demonstrations in Bristol coming together to discuss working together.

We agreed that the only way to keep the UK in the EU would be to form a passionate, cross-party, grassroots organisation in Bristol – and across the rest of the country.

We can now count many more as playing an active role in organising – as well as thousands of supporters registered across Greater Bristol.

We are united on the importance of rising above the intolerance and bigotry that followed the vote.

While we come from all walks of life, ages and genders, the one thing that unites us is our passion for Europe – and our pride in our European identity.

And we can list several important projects that took place over the second half of 2016 as genuine successes:


  1. We collaborated with similar groups in seven other cities to organise coordinated March for 
  2. Europe demonstrations. This launched a national, pro-European presence and caught the attention of the media, MPs and MEPs (including in Bristol).
  3. We have developed a strong relationship with the Mayor of Bristol’s office, every opposition MP in Bristol, many south West MEPs, and representatives from all opposition parties.
  4. We supported the foundation and launch by a Bristol for Europe member, Nicolas Hatton, of the3million, which lobbies on rights of EU citizens in the UK.
  5. We reached out to all other local groups from around the country and invited them to Bristol for the foundation of the Britain for Europe UK council, which wil
  6. l ensure all local organisation work together, increasing our combined leverage and prospect of success
  7. We proposed the governance, constitution and structure of our national organisation, which now has thousands of registered supporters
  8. We formed excellent working relationships with the European Movement, Scientists for Europe, Common Ground and others and created the instantly successful ‘What’s the Plan?’ campaign
  9. We regularly attend meetings of two All-party Parliamentary Groups in Westminster
  10. We launched the South West regional council of Britain for Europe with all our friends from Bath, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Bruton, Bournemouth, Salisbury, Somerset, Devon, and Dorset for Europe and ran a coordinated South West day of action.
  11. We helped create other pro-European groups in other parts of our region (and beyond)
  12. We proposed the idea of associated citizenship, which was also promoted by the New Europeans and the European movement, and which the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, will now include in negotiations.
  13. Produced and sold hundreds of pro-European Christmas cards.
  14. Ran regular street stalls across the city, reaching out to hundreds of Bristolians – whether they voted to remain or leave
So, what can you expect to see next year?
  1. Professor AC Grayling will be speaking at a meeting we are holding on 16th January at The Lantern at Coulston Hall. You can get tickets here.
  2. We’ll be holding more stalls around the city (as well as going door-to-door) to find more supporters and spread the word: the pro-European movement is here to stay!
  3. We’ll be holding more meetings for supporters’ to get involved, as well as holding an AGM and elections for our main positions.
  4. We’ll be lobbying MPs to oppose the triggering of A50.
  5. We’ll be attending Britain for Europe’s AGM.
  6. We’ll be collaborating more with the European Movement, Scientists for Europe and other allies.
We’d like to extend a special thank you to:
  1. All our members and supporters
  2. To all our friends at local political parties supporting our work, particularly Eileen Means at the Labour Party, Stephen Williams at the Liberal Democrats and all our reps from The Green Party
  3. Sir Graham Watson
  4. George Fergusson
  5. Molly Scott Cato MEP
  6. Clare Moody MEP
  7. Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol
  8. Thangam Debonnaire MP
  9. Karin Smyth MP
  10. Kerry McCarthy MP
  11. Nico Hatton at the 3million
  12. Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of the Green Party
And above all, we’d like to wish all of our supporters – and indeed everyone across the Greater Bristol area – a very merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year.

Much love,

Tom and the Bristol for Europe team


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