Bromsgrove Forum and ‘Our Star’

Bromsgrove 4 Europe is up and running again following a visit from Our Star, the beautiful artist designed star which represents the U.K. and the European Parliament’s hopes that we return to take our seats there again.

Our Star unveiled at the European Parliament on 18th May 2022

Our Star formed the background to a panel of invited speakers describing their personal experiences of post-Brexit Britain since 2020, when we left the EU after 45 years of membership, which brought £ billions to the West Midlands region and whose termination on a 52 to 48% vote in 2016 has been a significant factor in the possible bankruptcy of Coventry.

The meeting at Bromsgrove Sporting saw the welcome return of Dr Phil Bennion, farmer with a PhD in Agricultural Economics and our former MEP, well known for his success in attracting EU funding for flood defences and infrastructure and other major regeneration and social (including youth projects) funding in Worcestershire.

Chairing the meeting, Dr Bennion spoke of the optimism of the group as they worked at High Street stalls before the 2016 Referendum which took the U.K. out of the EU leaving empty seats in Brussels and a sense of loss from which this country is still trying to recover.

Phil Bennion addressing the meeting

We could talk for hours about the winners and losers in Brexit and come to the conclusion that hedge fund managers were the winners and many young people and young families have been the losers as well as those businesses unable to find staff or finance.

The Panel of Speakers

The panel of speakers at the event included Val, who owns her own business exporting construction industry software internationally. Costs have risen and it has become more difficult to trade with EU countries due to differing regulatory requirements; customers have been lost and workers more difficult to recruit due to Brexit.

Nick, (on Phil Bennion’s right, above) a Physics graduate working in the renewable energy sector, a boom industry, spoke of the real difficulties now in finding employment in the EU where the regulations and red tape introduced for third party countries like the U.K. have resulted in British workers not even being considered for posts when an EU member state worker is available. “The loss of opportunities for me and others in my field has been significant,” explained Nick.

Chris, a member of Bromsgrove Climate Action, spoke of the former co-operation at strategic level and funding opportunities for climate related projects which had now been lost to the U.K. but was encouraged by the collaborative work between research scientists working across the university and research institute sector. As a third party country, unfortunately the U.K. cannot benefit from £ billions of funding for climate change mitigation projects.

Philip Bennion spoke of his experience as an MEP and Vice-President of Liberal International of the important role of the EU in keeping the peace in Europe. For the 70 years of its existence no EU state has ever taken arms against another state – and this on a continent which had been at loggerheads from the religious wars of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to the territorial wars culminating in World War 2.

The speakers: Val (Exporting business owner), Martine (speaker from the audience),
and Chris from Bromsgrove Climate Action)

The European Movement, which helped to organise the visit of Our Star to Bromsgrove during its Our Star Trek journey round Britain, is now experiencing a significant increase in membership, which stands at over 22,000. It shares information and helps at events like the National Rejoin March on 23rd March.

More information may be found on: https://ourstar.org.uk and https://europeanmovement.org.uk.

For enquiries about Bromsgrove 4 Europe membership contact: janeteking110@gmail.com.