Pages tagged "News"

  • European Movement Welcomes New UK Government And Calls For Renewed EU Relations - Sir Nick Harvey

    [Image: Shutterstock]

    "European Movement UK welcomes the new government under Sir Keir Starmer," said CEO, Sir Nick Harvey, "and congratulates the newly elected MPs, alongside those who have retained their seats."

    "We now look forward with the hope that the new government," he continued, "and the influx of pro-European MPs from across all parties, will seize the opportunity to put an end to the divisive politics of the past decade, which has left families poorer, public services in pieces, and the UK's reputation and influence severely diminished globally."

    "The next parliament faces serious challenges, but also a unique opportunity, to rebuild the economy, breathe life back into the NHS, and ensure the UK plays its part on the world's stage.

    "Finding solutions to many of those problems will involve serious assessments of our future relationship with the European Union, and facing the damage that a hard Brexit continues to wreak on us all. We cannot rebuild the UK without rebuilding our relationship with the EU.

    "We must grasp this opportunity for a new dawn for the UK's relationship with Europe, and European Movement UK will not hold back in helping to hold the new government to account. With swathes of new MPs, and a completely new complexion in Parliament, we're finally in much better territory to build energetic and sustained support for our European future."

  • European Movement UK launches tool for voters to see where their candidate stand on Europe at the General Election

    European Movement UK has unveiled a new online tool to help voters understand their local candidates' positions on European issues ahead of the general election on 4th July.

    The "Manifesto on Europe Postcode Lookup" allows users to enter their postcode and view responses from candidates in their constituency regarding their stance on our Manifesto on Europe and of dealing with the impact of Brexit.

    The tool aims to make Brexit and UK-EU relations a key election issue and European Movement supporters are putting Europe on the election agenda by contacting candidates to seek their commitment to action on rebuilding the UK's relationship with Europe.

    Want to know what your candidates are saying on Europe? Use the postcode checker here.

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  • EM Group hosts show for Face The Music, as Labour Party promises a better deal for touring artists

    EM local group, Stratford4Europe, organised two days of campaigning for Face The Music - a street stall and a concert - after applying for and receiving a grant from European Movement UK.

    Beginning with a street stall on May 25th, the group organised a performance from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on Thursday, May 30th, at the Holy Trinity Parish Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

    Following their performance, the musicians gave personal testimony to their own feelings about the campaign and gave an encore of the European Union’s national anthem to end of the evening.

    The packed-out 150 capacity hall concert was full of support for the Face the Music campaign, with some of the audience even writing letters of support in the local paper.

    This event takes place after European Movement activists took action across the UK in places like SwanseaLambeth, Edinburgh, and Swindon, for our Face The Music Action Weekend in March, and the timing of this event is also very important. 

    European Movement UK has been campaigning for months for urgent action to be taken on behalf of musicians, whose ability to perform or work in Europe has been crippled by post-Brexit bureaucracy. Speaking to the FT this week, Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, has promised that a Labour government would seek "improved touring rights for UK artists".

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  • General Election 2024: Ask your local candidates what action they will take on Europe

    As the UK gears up for the upcoming general election on 4th July, European Movement UK is urging voters to demand clarity from political candidates on their stance regarding the UK's relationship with the European Union.

    Brexit, one of the most contentious issues of our time, continues to cast a long shadow over our country's future, impacting crucial areas such as economic growth, climate change, defence, immigration, and staffing in the NHS.

    European Movement UK has launched a tool that enables voters to easily identify their local candidates and send them a message, requesting their commitment to the pledges outlined in The Manifesto on Europe. The goal is to ensure that all 4,515 candidates standing across the UK hear from European Movement members and supporters, underscoring the public's unwavering concern and interest in the issues caused by Brexit.

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  • EU Elections 2024: Big majority for pro-Europeans, despite far-right gains

    Moderate pro-EU parties have won around two-thirds of the seats in the European Parliament, according to provisional results.

    The far-right has made gains and this is causing justified concern. But the two far-right groups will have less than a fifth of the seats. And far-right MEPs have a long record of grandstanding and squabbling instead of putting in hard work to represent voters. Extremists have been present in the Parliament for many decades. They have never driven its agenda and they won't now.

    The European Parliament matters. It will continue to perform effectively its crucial work of amending and passing EU laws, in agreement with national Ministers sitting in the Council.

    Before the new Parliament gets down to its day-to-day legislative work, it must approve the appointment of the European Commission President for the next five years, by an overall majority of at least 361 MEPs out of 720.

    After that, the Parliament will hold tough hearings with each nominee Commissioner. Then the new Commission, as a whole, will need endorsement in a parliamentary vote before it can take office. This is European democracy in action.

    Everyone in the UK will still be affected by the European Parliament’s decisions, on the economy, trade, climate change and more. But we no longer have a voice. Brexit unseated our MEPs and disenfranchised UK voters, as well as hobbling our economy.

    In France, Italy, Germany and elsewhere, even far-right parties no longer dare say they want their countries to leave the EU. Because they know voters have seen the mess made by Brexit.

    The antics of Nigel Farage’s UKIP were embarrassing. But many other former UK MEPs were renowned both for promoting British and European values and for mastering detail. So losing them also weakened the European Parliament and the EU.

    European Movement UK aims to put the UK back at the centre of Europe, with UK MEPs in the European Parliament, a UK Commissioner and UK Ministers around the Council table. That will take time - but it will happen.

    Meanwhile, we will have a new government in a few weeks. In line with our Manifesto on Europe, European Movement UK will be calling on it to build bridges rapidly with the rest of Europe, including with the newly-elected European Parliament.

  • General Election 2024: European Movement UK launches The Manifesto on Europe

    European Movement UK has just launched the Manifesto on Europe - our list of key demands for the next government to address the catastrophic damage of Brexit and rebuild ties with Europe.

    This manifesto is a crucial lobbying tool for our movement over the next 29 days. The headline is that we want all candidates to commit to improving our relationship with the EU.

    It also includes detailed policy asks with practical steps - like carrying out an honest assessment of Brexit’s impact, rejoining the Erasmus+ programme, and making sure that our rights and standards remain in step with our EU neighbours.

    We will use it to challenge the Brexit silence and pressure candidates to tell us where they really stand on key issues related to the EU. Take a look and help us spread the message.

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  • Face The Music: A New Nationwide Campaign For Musicians and Artists

    ‘Leaving the EU has destroyed people’s careers.’ That’s the view of one of the classical music world’s brightest young talents, James Henshaw. It’s the view of others working in music, too.  

    From bands and instrument makers to backstage staff – the loss of freedom of movement, the ‘work-90-days-in-180’ rule, and the mind-boggling visa and carnet system – all mean one of the UK’s most successful cultural exports is being slowly destroyed. 

    It’s why our new campaign is urging the Government to stop the damage being done to the UK music industry. 

    Face The Music, led by European Movement UK, is shining a spotlight on the plight of musicians, touring artists and backstage staff, since the UK left the EU on 31st January 2020, and is urging the Government to negotiate a bilateral agreement, one which guarantees visa-free travel for UK artists in the EU, and for EU artists in the UK.  

    Our research shows a talent drain on British music, from up-and-coming stars leaving Britain to live in an EU country, to instrument makers who have lost their EU customers due to rising exports costs, to jobbing musicians who face being shut out of freelance work because they no longer hold an EU passport. 

    “I was forced to choose between my job and my country,” said James Henshaw, a rising star among conductors on the UK classical music scene, who moved from London to Germany in 2020.  

    “I knew that if I wanted to continue working, I couldn’t stay in the UK. In my own country. I felt shut out. Everyone in the classical music world is constantly moving. 8 weeks here, 8 weeks there. About 15% of my work before Brexit was in the UK, and the rest was from around the world – a lot from the EU. But after 2020, I could see that EU work drying up. Because if several candidates go for a job, and you’re the only one who needs a visa and all the paperwork, you don’t stand a chance. So I had to move. I had to, to keep working.” 

    Matt Carghill plays in the band Sly and the Family Drone. He used to tour EU countries every year – but that’s now stopped.  

    “We’d just get in the van – instruments, merchandise, throw it all in and off you go. It was the merchandise sales that got us through, the money that would pay for the fuel to get to the next gig. Now, because of all the export costs, you can’t do it. It’s over.” 

    Rachel Nicholls is a freelance British soprano in opera and concert, currently starring in The Handmaid’s Tale in London. Since leaving the EU, her whole career has changed.  

    “I used to do three or four jobs in the EU every year. Since Brexit, I’ve done just one EU job in 7 years. Those jobs are still there, but now they’re going to artists who aren’t from the UK. The 90-day rule, and the visas you need, just mean UK musicians are not considered any more. It’s too difficult to employ them. I know so many people leaving the industry. We are doing severe, irreparable damage to the UK music industry, and it is the younger people I feel so, so sorry for.” 

    Chris and Sabina Allen-Kormylo make specialist hand-made instruments, hurdy-gurdys, from a workshop at the back of their house in Wales.  

    “We used to have about 30% of our business from EU customers,” Chris tells us, Now the phone never rings from them, ever. Why would you buy from us, when you might have to pay hundreds of pounds more just to have your instrument shipped to you? EU customers can’t even have instruments shipped to me for repair anymore, because you risk it being stuck in a warehouse at customs somewhere for weeks on end. That business is gone, and we just have to live with it.” 

    Watch musicians' stories.

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    Stand with us and tell this government to Face The Music.