PLACARDS and flags were dusted off as Stratford4Europe marked the relaunch of its campaign to rejoin the EU with a gathering on the Bancroft Gardens on Wednesday (July 20).
The Pro-EU campaign group was forced to suspend its lobbying work during the pandemic after originally coming together in 2016 to call for Britain “to play a leading role within a strong and united European Union”.
Now, two and a half year’s after the UK left the EU, the local, grass-roots organisation believe that the case for the UK eventually rejoining the European Union “is becoming clearer every day”.
To mark this turn in events, supporters dug out their Stratford4Europe placards, badges, flags and t-shirts and met at the statue of ‘Young Will’ on the Bancroft Gardens in Stratford to publicise the group’s return to the campaign trail.
On Wednesday (July 20), the group was publicising an open letter they will be sending to Stratford MP and new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, reminding him of his alleged previous commitment to the importance of the UK being in the European Union single market.
They are urging him to use his new-found position in the Conservative party to pursue a U-turn in government policy.
And the group has also announced its first ‘live’ public event since the pandemic. It has secured two experts in European law to speak in Stratford – Professor Michael Dougan from the University of Liverpool, and Professor Christophe Hillion from the University of Oslo.
Both speakers will be addressing the pressing question of ‘What next for EU-UK relations?’ The talk will take place on September 14 at Stratford School.
Chair of Stratford4Europe, John Cain, told the Observer: “The time is ripe for Stratford4Europe to re-launch its campaign.
The immediate down-sides of leaving the EU were masked by the Covid pandemic and more recently by the war in Ukraine.
“However, the true costs of leaving the EU are now becoming clearer by the day. We are now seeing a tsunami of emerging facts and figures which show the grievous damage leaving the EU is doing to our country.
“As well we are seeing a clear shift in public opinion with more and more people now speaking up in favour of this country mending its broken relationship with Europe.
“As a result we have judged the time is right for us to restart our campaign for the UK to once again take up its rightful position as a key player at the top table in Europe.”