The outbreak of COVID-19 has reminded us that issues that impact humanity do not have borders. This pandemic is evidence that an experience in one country can rapidly affect the lives, economics and social fabrics of every other community in the world, and that learning from and coordinating with other countries is the only logical path towards building a global community.
The European Movement is respecting official advice and suspending in-person activities in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. But we must continue to ensure that the future we have been fighting for over the past 70 years is upheld. In a post-Brexit world, our values are at risk, from the undermining of human rights to compromising environmental standards. Together we are advocating for European values, standards and rights to be maintained in the UK, and there is much that we can still do to achieve that goal.
Here are three ways we're campaigning in the coronavirus outbreak:
1. We're pushing to extend the transition period.
There is a developing consensus, both in the UK and within the EU, that the transition period needs to be extended. This doesn't mean revisiting the fact that we have (regrettably) left the EU. What it does mean is that it is logical to be particularly mindful of our interests in the context of unprecedented global upheaval. To insist that the transition period must end on 31st December 2020, without ensuring that agreements around medical supplies are safeguarded or considering the damning economic prospects of leaving with no future relationship agreed while facing the long-term economic impact of a global pandemic would be an act of pig-headed folly.
It would prioritise ideology over the actual needs of the British people.
Join us by signing this petition:
2. We're digitally organising
At a time when barriers are going up all over the world and national leaders, including our own, are backing away from international commitments, we're working even harder to defend the rights of EU citizens in the UK, as well as UK citizens living in the EU.
We're developing a series of virtual organising initiatives that are already underway, such as Twitter chats and virtual Euro cafes. We'll use our resources to continue our work to convene and inform EU citizens living in the UK, working closely with our allies like the 3million and the youth of the country whose interests are most affected.
Watch this space for official online events and ways to get involved!
3. We're holding the government to account
While attention is focussed on the public health emergency, we need to be vigilant in monitoring Brexit developments via our BrexitWatch initiative. Behind the cover of the current crisis, the government is pursuing an extreme and isolationist version of Brexit. It is refusing to publish the impact assessments for its policy, and it is unable to devote the resources necessary to ensure that it minimises the adverse impacts for British people.
Decisions will be made over the next few months to change supply chains and employment patterns to reflect a world where Britain is no longer part of the European Single Market. For the first time since 1945, we have an openly protectionist government. Brexit-Watch will assemble the evidence of the damage that their policies are inflicting on an economy which is already weakened by Covid-19.