Stories of Brexit: new report from the European Movement

We need visa-free arrangements so that musicians and other creative professionals can travel and work throughout Europe
Photo by Edoardo Tomassino from pexels

The European Movement has today published a report featuring real-life case studies of the human impact of Brexit. The report sets out ten of the biggest problems that have emerged since January 1, and what steps government should take to address the issues covered.

All MPs have been sent the report on the “Stories of Brexit”, with the European Movement following this up with a virtual lobby of parliament on May 21, where the people in the report and others who have been impacted by Brexit will discuss the issues that have most affected their lives and work with their MPs to press the government to act.

The measures in the report do not involve wholesale change or a rewriting of the deal – and, crucially, do not cross any of the government’s Brexit red lines, with some of the proposals even echoing pledges made during the referendum and election.

Recommendations include:

  • A UK-EU deal on veterinary, agriculture, food and other standards that will help calm tensions in Northern Ireland by alleviating friction at the GB-NI border;
  • More resources and guidance for businesses and fishing fleets struggling with red tape, and a simplification of the paperwork required to trade with the EU;
  • Rejoining EU initiatives where third country membership is an option, like the Erasmus scheme that UK enables students and teachers to live, exchange ideas and study in the EU (and vice versa), and the European Environment Agency – to ensure standards are maintained and action against climate change is better coordinated;
  • Matching pre-Brexit levels of funding in key areas, from the Common Agricultural Policy – which will enable farms to remain viable and habitats to be preserved – to EU Structural and Investment Funds, which should be targeted at those in greatest need living in the most deprived areas in Britain’s nations and regions;
  • A deal with the EU for post-Brexit visa-free arrangements that will enable musicians and other creative professionals to perform throughout the EU without the burden of additional costs and paperwork for each different country they tour.

    Andrew Adonis, chair of the European Movement, said:

    “Leaving the European Union is the most significant change in UK policy in a generation, affecting people of all backgrounds in all parts of the country.

    “Andrew, a farmer in Rutland, Tom, an Essex fisherman, Sophia in London, John in Northern Ireland, and millions more people like those featured in our report face an uncertain future after Brexit. This is not some academic debate about GDP or sovereignty, these people are suffering the real-life human impacts of the deal, and they must be helped.

    “The government has failed to communicate changes effectively, leaving our businesses and industry in the dark and unable to prepare. It now has a chance to remedy some of the damage, if it makes the right choices.

    “The proposals in our report are sensible, non-controversial actions that do not cross any of the government’s red lines – and indeed in some cases, like the recommendations for matched funding for agriculture and UK nations and regions, deliver on the pledges made to voters during the referendum and election.

    “We will work with MPs to speak up for their constituents that have been affected by Brexit, and together urge the government to take forward these pragmatic proposals and act on them without delay.

    “If the political will is there, the government has the power to make life better for many of the people, businesses and communities who have been most affected by Brexit.”

You can read the full report here.

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