The Story So Far
Since the referendum, there has been a concerning lack of balance and acknowledgement of facts and reality. The government has ignored 48% of the country, using the result to implement one of the hardest 'Brexits' imaginable. While politicians may not be willing to admit that remaining in the EU is still the best possible option for the UK, economically, politically and socially, our group opposes 'Brexit' in any form. We are part of a nationwide campaign to stay in the EU and are affiliated to national pro-EU groups. To find about our ethos, aims and methods, you can read our constitution below.
The Story So Far
Enfield for Europe kept a high profile in the rest of 2018, running stalls at festivals in Palmers Green and Winchmore Hill as well as the usual street stalls and campaigning. In December, pro-EU campaigner Jason Hunter came to Enfield's Dugdale Centre to speak to the group about the potential damage that a hard 'Brexit' could cause. In 2019, we had a big presence at the Put it to the People march in London in March. In May, the group staged its biggest-ever election campaign for the European Parliament elections on May 23, delivering thousands of leaflets across the borough in the run-up to polling day and leafleting at stations on the day itself to 'get out the vote'. With Theresa May resigning on May 24, it looks like we could well be out on the streets again later in 2019, should a general election or another referendum be called. Watch this space.
The group meets local MPs including Bambos Charalambous (pictured below) at a pro-EU lobby meeting at Westminster and urges them to oppose the EU Withdrawal Bill. Members also campaign on the streets of Enfield to urge voters to write to their MPs to amend the bill to give Parliament a meaningful vote on any final deal reached with the EU. This succeeds when MPs vote by 309 votes to 305 in December for Amendment 7 proposed by Conservative MP and former Attorney-General Dominic Grieve. The government also backs down on a proposal to enshrine the planned exit date in law, amending it to allow MPs to change the date if necessary.
After a quiet start to 2018, Enfield for Europe holds a meeting in March attended by 32 people from pro-EU groups across London and addressed by Best for Britain chief Eloise Todd (see link to minutes above). The group hits the local newspaper headlines in April by launching a campaign in Southgate for another EU vote and urging voters to vote pro-EU in the May local council elections, which increased the pro-Remain majority on Enfield council. EfE members delivered 3,000 'Brexit is a local issue' flyers and took part in pro-EU election events across London. In May, the group welcomed No. 10 Vigil pro-EU performers to Enfield Town and held a ''Brexitometer' poll showing a big majority for another vote. In late May, members attended the Enfield Pageant of Motoring, urging visitors to support a 'People's Vote'. All this plus more street stalls, monthly meetings, letter-writing to Parliament and attendance of events held by national pro-EU groups in London and elsewhere. With 'Brexit' looking more wobbly and facing potentially fatal hurdles in Westminster, Brussels and the courts, watch this space for more developments.
As the EU Withdrawal Bill starts its passage through Parliament, the Remain movement kicks off the autumn with a series of marches around the country including one in London, in which group members take part. Members also participate in various other events around the country. We also run a stall at the Enfield Town Show, gathering scores of signatures on a petition for a second referendum to stay in the EU, developing our public profile and raising much-needed funds.
During the campaign period for the snap election EfE designed and distributed a leaflet endorsing the borough's Remain candidates, (those who were pro-Remain in the 2016 referendum). We managed to hand out over 4,000 leaflets during this period, undoubtedly helping Bambos Charalambous gain the Southgate constituency from Leave supporter David Burrowes. Charalambous's majority of roughly 4,000 votes we like to attribute to our 4,000 leaflets!
Enfield for Europe helps to promote the Unite for Europe march by way of leafleting, and supports the massive event by taking part on the day.
The group releases a press release expressing concern for a £80 million loan secured at a favourable interest rate from the European Investment Bank, (EIB - the EU's bank) for regeneration projects, such as Enfield council's flagship Meridian Water regeneration project. We meet David Burrowes, (former pro-Brexit Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate) to better understand his position. We are invited to send a representative to his Brexit in Enfield discussion group meeting on the 23rd, which we do, and challenge the council on the funding secured form the EIB. EU citizens in our group participate in One Day Without Us strike.
We're also involved in the Vote for Europe and Represent Us campaigns to lobby anti-'Brexit' support against the EU Withdrawal Bill and also for amendment NC99 in the House. Nearly all of us write to Enfield Southgate Leave MP David Burrowes.
Letter received from Open Britain acknowledging that if we are completely opposed to Brexit on any terms than they are not the organisation for us, as they support Brexit on best possible terms- ‘Brexit Lite’. They also say state they don't want us to organise things for them in Enfield as they have their own contacts, (who turn out to be members of our group anyway).
October and November 2016
Frenzied street campaigning ensues, individual members calling us out for the campaigns being run by various groups. Jack Petchey report released: 3,000 Essex and London 12-18 year olds surveyed saying 75 % support remain and 40% say they will leave the country if Brexit Britain doesn't sort out racism caused by the referendum result. Enfield for Europe suggests Britain for Europe rolls out this survey nationwide but they decline.
July 2016 - The Wedding Meeting
Women’s Equality Party, Liberal Democrat, Labour and
Conservative members meet at a wedding and agree with each other to carry on as
a progressive cross-party group. The collective anti-Brexit stance is
surprisingly unifying despite differing individual political views.