Our Star in Oxford

The Star of European Unity and Peace (Junior Star) visited Oxford on Wednesday 20th March. It was one of the attractions of a very special evening meeting. We met at Wesleyan Memorial Church in the city centre. The title of the meeting was “Brexit is a failed project: a better future is possible”, and it was ably chaired by Geraldine Coggins.

We had three excellent speakers, who discussed different aspects of what has become of the UK since Brexit.
First came Professor Danny Dorling, the eminent social geographer. He took as one of his many themes the psychological effects of Brexit. He was able to demonstrate changes in national anxiety and happiness levels coinciding with Brexit and antedating the pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine.

The next speaker was Liz Webster, founder of Save British Farming. She discussed the many ways in which Brexit has harmed farming, and indeed for many farmers it has made their business uneconomic. The trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, which in effect give free access to the UK market for their products, not to mention CPTPP accession, are indefensible and cannot be allowed to continue.
Finally, Willow Fisher, a student at Manchester and head of campaigns at the Young European Movement, spoke about how damaging Brexit has been for young people. In particular he condemned the loss of the Erasmus Plus programme, whose alleged replacement, the Turing scheme, does not offer anything like equivalent benefits.

There were a variety of questions, covering issues such as what Labour policy should be post-election, what we need to do to make rejoining possible, why politicians have avoided the issue of Erasmus, the problems created by big business in the food industry, whether the voting age should be lowered and whether we should have compulsory voting.

We were joined by Councillor Tiago Corais, Deputy Lord Mayor elect of Oxford, who is himself an EU national (he was born in Portugal).
Former Lord Mayor John Tanner, honorary secretary of Oxford for Europe, said “our city is proud of its European links and the many EU citizens who live here among us. There is now an ever stronger public will to reverse the harms of Brexit and get our country back where it belongs, at the heart of Europe”.

This was a very wide ranging and thought provoking meeting. Click here to see full details of the event, together with Video

Our thanks to Peter Burke of Oxford for Europe for the report and photos..

Return to Higher Level, or use the Menu bar.