Pages tagged "European Movement"

  • "The European Movement will continue to defend democracy and ensure Ukraine prevails," Anna Bird

    One year ago today, Russia began its illegal invasion of Ukraine. 

    Since then, death tolls have continued to rise, over 5 million Ukrainians have been displaced and, as a result, the refugee crisis in Europe has reached its highest levels since WWII.  

    The unprecedented level of courage, resolve and bravery we have seen is remarkable. And this is why I am writing today, because — together — as Europeans, as internationalists, and as fellow humans, Ukraine is with us, and we are with them. 

    With international support, Ukraine managed to survive the winter and earlier this month President Zelenskyy travelled – for the first time since Russia’s invasion began – to deliver speeches around Europe. First in Westminster and then in Brussels, where Zelensky announced to the European Parliament that Ukraine, one day, will join the European Union. 

    Last March our movement was invited to organise the UK with Ukraine rally in London, alongside the Mayor of London’s office. And what I said to the crowds in Trafalgar Square still rings true today, that the only route to a peaceful future is one where we unite with our neighbours in Europe and around the world.  

    What we have all seen over the last 12 months is that, in the face of Putin’s lethal campaign to annex parts of Ukraine, Europe is stronger when European nations work closely together. 

    In what has been a dark year, we have seen that freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights are the true values which unite our continent.  

    Putin gave a state-of-the-nation address on Tuesday morning ahead of today, the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine today. 

    "I want to repeat,” Putin told the world, “it is them who are culpable for the war, and we are using force to stop it."  

    He went on to announce that he will suspend Russia’s participation in New START, the last remaining nuclear arms treaty with the US. 

    But such threats are not new.  

    Putin’s invasion of Ukraine underscores the importance of working across Europe to bolster our security and defence.  

    This is why The European Movement will continue to advocate for a closer relationship between the UK, Ukraine and the EU to defend our shared democracy and ensure Ukraine prevails. 

    Together, we must continue protecting and fighting for Ukraine's right to live in a peaceful and united Europe. 

  • YEM's Erasmus+ Academy is just the start

    When we left the EU, the UK also left the Erasmus+ Programme, robbing future generations of young people in the UK of the chance to experience education, training and sport opportunities across Europe. 

    According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, which has published the data for the first full post-Brexit year, the number of EU students enrolling in British universities has more than halved since Brexit – with sharp declines in scholars from Italy, Germany and France, figures reveal. 

    Brexit is seen as the primary deterrent, with home fees and student finance no longer available to EU students who do not already live in the UK with settled or pre-settled status. 

    With this in mind, on Thursday 9th February 2023, the Young European Movement (YEM) UK welcomed participants from across the UK to London for its 2023 Erasmus+ Academy, a political bootcamp designed to connect like-minded young pro-Europeans, provide them with a toolkit of skills for how to run an effective political campaign on re-joining the Erasmus+ programme.  

    This two-day programme of events kick-started with a Networking Reception in Europe House on the Future of UK-EU Relations in Education, where over sixty attendees heard unique insight from several senior commentators on how the relationship can be strengthened.  

    The German Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Miguel Berger, laid down a marker at the offset by sharing his disappointment over the UK’s decision to terminate its Erasmus+ membership, adding that it was his government’s desire for this decision to be reversed.  

    Following on from Ambassador Berger’s assessment, Labour MP for Preston, Sir Mark Hendrick, took to the stage and gave a devasting analysis of the Government’s track record on Brexit and the damage that it has done to the economy. He shared Labour’s vision of a closer relationship with Europe on key issues, including agreements on security and defence, Horizon+ membership as well as leaving the door open on Erasmus+. 

    We then heard from another former MEP and Liberal Democrat Peer, Baroness Sarah Ludford, who brought down the house with a witty and frank critique of how this government has dealt with the fallout from leaving the EU. In looking to shape a future where London and Brussels could engage in a meaningful and advantageous manner, she cited the dangers associated with the Retained EU Law Bill and spoke of her work as the Europe Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats.  

    For those of you unable to attend the reception you can watch a selection of the speeches here. 

    On Friday, YEM members then took to Bush House at King’s College London for an action-packed day of political training and insight, beginning with a presentation and workshop from European Movement’s campaign and communications team on their Retained EU Law Bill campaign. This workshop provided YEM members with insider knowledge on what constructing an effective campaign looks like. 

    Following on from this, YEM members received an eye-opening presentation from globally renowned pollsters, Opinium, who shared with us public attitudes around Brexit: past, present and future. After lunch, we then heard from an aspiring young journalist, Eleanor Longman-Rood, from The New European on the current landscape of the UK media and how to get your message across. 

    We finished our afternoon’s training and capacity building with two in-house workshops, the first of which concentrated on public affairs and stakeholder mapping, and the second of which concentrated on our work campaigning to rejoin the Erasmus+ Programme. 

    The entire YEM team is thrilled with the success of the Erasmus+ Academy and is confident that it places us on a strong footing to advance our campaign and strengthen our network of young pro-Europeans through the United Kingdom. 

    Rejoining Erasmus+ could be a key step towards rebuilding bridges with Europe and this event proved that, together, we can restore the opportunities once afforded to young people in the UK pre-Brexit.  

    Art O’Mahony  

    Young European Movement Coordinator 


  • European Movement UK is seeking a new Chair

    The mission of the European Movement is to campaign step by step towards rejoining the EU. We’re looking for a dynamic and committed person to lead our organisation –the largest cross-party, pro-European membership organisation in the UK, with 200,000 supporters, over 100 branches, and more than 16,000 members.

    The successful candidate, to be chosen by the EMUK membership in a secret ballot, will be expected to front our step-by-step campaign towards rejoining the EU and help grow our membership and reach in a watershed period for UK relations with Europe.

    They will take on both a public-facing role representing the EM effectively in the media and on platforms and taking responsibility for the Movement’s internal governance and strategy.  EM is committed to equality and would welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds. 

    For more details about the role, which is to be undertaken without remuneration, please contact: Emma Knaggs ([email protected]). The closing date for nominations is Monday 13th February.

    See here for the full job description. 


  • “I wish you a prosperous New Year on behalf of European Movement,” Vince Cable

    I wish you a prosperous New Year on behalf of the European Movement.  

    But today, 31st December, also marks two years since the end of the Brexit transitional period: the day when the UK fully withdrew from the European Union.  

    The Covid pandemic overshadowed the full impact of Brexit. More recently, we have been preoccupied with the Ukraine War, the severe effects of the energy price shock on living standards and the political upheavals following the resignation of Boris Johnson.  

    But we can now begin to see more clearly the consequences of “having got Brexit done” and the dishonesty behind the promise of “Brexit benefits”.   

    And it’s more important than ever that we speak out against this dishonesty and work together to reverse the calamity of Brexit.  

    Most obviously, the negative economic fall-out is becoming apparent. Numerous firms have cut back their trade with Europe because of new bureaucratic obstacles. The same obstacles have pushed up costs, adding to inflation. An exodus of EU nationals has aggravated the chronic labour shortage in some sectors. Businesses have cut back on badly needed investments. The promised boost from big new trade agreements has been seriously underwhelming.  

    And many individuals are now experiencing the practical difficulties of travelling and working in Europe. Others have seen the reality of cutbacks in collaborative research or student exchange.  

    Many of the costs of Brexit were predictable and predicted. What is also noteworthy is the shift in political opinion. There is now a clear and rising majority who judge Brexit as a mistake and favour the restoration of close economic links.  

    Many of the costs of Brexit were predictable and predicted. What is also noteworthy is the shift in political opinion. There is now a clear and rising majority who judge Brexit as a mistake and favour the restoration of close economic links. Becoming a member of the European Movement is a way of working with like-minded people to channel this changing mood into political action.  

    We are approaching a tipping point where the political mood will clearly favour taking the first steps back toward Europe:  

    • A key issue will be breaking the deadlock over the Northern Ireland Protocol.  
    • Another will be re-joining the Horizon project, which is essential for scientific collaboration.  
    • And work will begin this coming year preparing for a review by governments of the skeletal post-Brexit ‘deal’. Even government ministers have been thinking aloud about mechanisms for recreating the essential features of the Single Market.  

    The political parties which campaigned against Brexit have chosen to remain largely silent about the possibilities of rebuilding our relations with the EU. They have judged that the issue is too divisive or difficult. But there is a big opportunity in the coming year for us to build pressure and influence the next government to take a more constructive, pro-European stance. The European Movement is at the heart of that process.   

    For many of us, the battle over Europe is about more than economic costs and benefits, important though these are. It is about our identity and our values in relation to the rest of the world – a Battle for the Soul of the Country.  

    My own involvement in pro-European campaigning goes back to the 1960s and the first referendum on membership. Like many of you, I was actively involved in the Remain campaign and then the campaign for a People’s Vote. I don’t regard Brexit as the last word on the subject.  

    I have now taken on the role of Vice President of the European Movement to work with our 16,000 plus members to undo the damage and division of recent years and return to our place amongst the other countries of Europe. 

    Thank you for your continued support throughout 2022, together we can continue to create change in 2023.  

    Vince Cable 

    Vice President, European Movement UK 

  • Molly Scott Cato - What I Said at Saturday’s National Rejoin March

    On Saturday, thousands of us took to the streets of London for the National Rejoin March. Here’s the speech I gave at the event, where I had the privilege to speak alongside many other inspiring pro-European voices:

    We are in an economic political calamity and it has one obvious cause: Brexit

    The hashtag we have all been using becomes more self-evident by the day: Brexit broke Britain

    It has broken our democracy, because it introduced the use of casual and outrageous lies into our political discourse.

    It swept aside the skill of centuries of politicians, explaining to citizens the importance of trade-offs and replaced this political dialogue with lies about sunlit uplands with no downsides.

    Having your cake and eating it moved from being a criticism of unrealistic expectations to the bread-and-butter of our political discourse.

    This has culminated in the political disaster of Liz Truss’s Fairytale economics.

    Finally the Brexit fantasy – and the oligarchs and economic extremists who created it – have been brought up short. I wonder if the market privateers appreciate the irony that it was actually the markets that took back control.

    Brexit is also central to this economic calamity. It is not a coincidence that the £65bn that the IFS says is the size of the black hole in the public finances is almost exactly the same as the £66bn that Standard and Poors estimated as the cost of Brexit.

    But Brexit has also shone a light on the weaknesses in our political system that the Brexiteers exploited. How easy it was for them to crash not just our economy but our democracy.

    With just two parties chasing swing voters in a small number of marginal constituencies, our first-past-the-post system has pushed both Red and Blue parties to the destructive position of trying to make the disaster of Brexit work.

    With just these two parties dominating political debate we have endured a conspiracy of silence about the damage Brexit is wreaking on our country.

    But the silver lining in the current political turmoil is that this conspiracy of silence is finally being broken.

    It is our duty to break this conspiracy of silence, to keep telling the truth about the damage Brexit is doing to us all. To our economy, to our society and to our reputation in the world.

    We are the people who tell that truth, who are not just willing but proud to say that we know that rejoining the EU is the only possible future for the UK.

    We are a European Movement and we are on the move. We know from our friends Terry Reintke and Guy Verhofstadt who are with us today that they are keeping the door open and keeping a light on.

    We will find our way home.

    Molly Scott Cato is a former Green Party MEP and a Senior Vice Chair of the European Movement UK.

  • European Movement UK is delighted to welcome two new Communications and Campaign Officers

    Here they introduce themselves in their own words.

    Hi, I’m Amelia Hughes 

    My interest in politics, and travelling have meant that I have been fortunate enough to work with politicians in Europe and further afield. In the UK I have worked with MPs and local councilors in the North East, seeing first-hand the positive impact the EU has had on that region. Internationally, in Brussels, I conducted research on youth unemployment for S&D MEPs and worked in Essen on a Comenius Project coordinating a programme on youth homelessness. 

    In 2018 I studied abroad in Washington DC where I worked closely with the Governor of Maryland and, in the US Capitol, wrote speeches for Congressmen. In 2020 I relocated to Sydney, Australia, where I worked in the United Nations office focusing mainly on how Sustainable Development Goals benefit local communities. I am now living in London where, with EM, I will use my experience to help reverse the calamity of Brexit. 

    And I’m Michael Anderson

    I have to say that I’m very excited to be onboard. 

    Some may remember me from when I was, before commencing in this position with EM, the Coordinator for the Young European Movement. 

    I hail from a Brexit stronghold, my beloved Essex. I have a BA in History from University of Southampton and an MSc in Global Environmental Politics & Policy from Birkbeck College, University of London.  

    Like Amelia, and many of our expanding team, I’m now based in London where I am – aside from working to help reverse the calamity of Brexit - an active musician and writer.  

    Before I joined EM, I gathered years of experience working both in the sustainability sector and as a policy researcher for the grassroots organisation Labour for a Green New Deal, with periods living elsewhere, in the likes of Argentina and Australia. 

  • "Time to heal from hate and reclaim the soul of our country" – European Movement CEO

    Reacting to news that Boris Johnson is resigning as Prime Minister, CEO of the European Movement, Anna Bird, said:

    “For seven years, the Brexit bullring has been used to spread lies, undermine democracy and strip away integrity from public office.  

    “What followed was a tanking economy, collapsing businesses, families set to be worse off by nearly £1,000 a year and colossal damage to our reputation around the world.   

    Read more