Category: Brexit

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BREXIT VOTE FIVE YEARS ON

Defenders of Democracy: Steven Bray

Ginny Smith
Steven Bray wearing a blue top hat with a yellow and black 'Stop Brexit' ribbon. He has a Union flag draped around his shoulders and an EU flag in the background.

Five years on from the EU referendum vote, Ginny Smith interviews “Mr Stop Brexit”, Steven Bray. A coin dealer from Port Talbot, Wales, Bray became a national and international symbol of UK resistance against Brexit and inspired thousands of others to join his protests at Westminster.

Tracks of a Trickster – who does Boris Johnson think he is?

Rev Susie Courtault
A satirical photo tableau depicting Boris Johnson and new bride Carrie Symonds in the rose garden with body bags piled high

Because adultery and abortion are considered sinful in the Catholic Church, a large number of Christians (who take their faith very seriously) are appalled that a serial adulterer, and someone well known to have abandoned his children, could get away with taking the sacraments in Westminster Cathedral. Yet reinventing himself is part of his raison d’être. I suspect he has no particular attachment to being able to take the sacraments and went along with the whole process because he had no strong opinions either way — and that is exactly what a trickster would do.

NEW WRITER

Bum note – does Johnson’s government hate choral singing?

Ruth McDermott
Photo of a Heathfield Choral Society concert from before Covid

Many activities that prolong exposure to heavy breathing have been given the go ahead for indoor activity, such as working out at the gym, laughing with mates down the pub or chatting over a meal at a local restaurant, not to mention thousands of fans gathering at a football stadium to watch a game, no doubt doing what fans will – hugging, celebrating, chanting and singing! So why has the Government banned all amateur choirs from rehearsing indoors?

What legacy do you want to leave?

Tom Serpell
An adoring grandfather holds up his infant grandchild, who is smiling back

A retired, lifelong left-of-centre activist ponders what constitutes a meaningful legacy, and worries his generation is failing to leave the next with the right kind of wealth…

EUROPE DAY

What does Europe mean to you?

Sussex Bylines
EU flag, with one start missing.

Sunday 9 May, is Europe Day: an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe and the anniversary of the historic ‘Schuman declaration’. Here we feature some personal testimonies from Sussex people who feel strongly connected to Europe and the EU.

DEFENDERS OF DEMOCRACY

Defenders of Democracy: Terry Reintke MEP

Ginny Smith

Terry Reintke attributes her growing awareness of inequality and the injustices in the world to the fact that she grew up as a German. Living with the knowledge that my grandparents and great-grandparents had a duty as citizens in a democracy to speak up for the rule of law, for minorities, and they didn’t really do that. That knowledge brings a level of responsibility and it is why politics and democracy have always played an important part in my own thinking.

NEW WRITER

EU nationals – second-class citizens in post-Brexit Britain

Cllr Marianna Ebel

Thousands of EU citizens were disenfranchised in the 2019 European elections – and yet the High Court has ruled that they have no redress against the government. And to avoid becoming an ‘undocumented migrant’ they are forced to apply for EU Settled Status. Cllr Marianna Ebel explains the issues.

LONGER READ

Walking in the Downs – a lockdown odyssey

James Joughin
James Joughin and his dog Ringo on the South Downs, summer 2020

“After slouching around Preston Park a few times I was getting bored and it was then, with the startling visibility of those early lockdown weeks, that I noticed the distant peaks glistening on the horizon, and hatched a vague plan to head up there and ‘explore the South Downs Way’ as my tattered Brighton guidebook maintained I should.”

NEW WRITER

Selling to Europe from Sussex

Helen Gibbons

The tragedy of the hard Brexit pursued by the UK is that so many Europe-focused businesses have become instantly unviable, whether they’re selling Scottish langoustines to France, Welsh lamb to Germany or language services to the Netherlands. The Brexit impacts that are being disingenuously described as teething troubles are actually structural.

NEW WRITER

If you’re going to lie, make it a BIG one

Hannah Chapman

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that the most dangerous lie would be a sneaky one, one that is reasonably close to the truth? One that kind of grows on the truth − on the fertile fabric of what we already know to be true. But no, it seems that a Big Lie is more potent because in order to believe it you have to disbelieve everything else.

How Covid has challenged political certainties

Tom Serpell

Political certainties have been jettisoned by a combination of Covid and Brexit. Tories traditionally hold the purse strings tight while Labour demonstrates a greater tendency to spend on public services but today, we’re seeing unprecedented levels of public spending increasing. Tom Serpell explores the implications for political loyalties.

Dinners to comfort distraught Remainers

Ginny Foster

A group of East Sussex Remainers found a foodie way to not only beat the Brexit blues, but to continue to travel Europe even during lockdown. Ginny Foster reports on a Covid-secure idea to share good food, drink and company.

Johnson’s Brexit deal: For richer or for poorer?

Juliet Lodge

Juliet Lodge summarises reactions on Twitter to the last-minute Brexit deal agreed between the UK and the EU. With Boris Johnson’s early promise of frictionless trade abandoned, and parliament given just one day to debate the deal, what does the future hold for Britain’s relationship with its largest trading partner?

Brexit trade deal on a knife-edge: lies and U-turns have destroyed trust

Vivienne Griffiths

The EU is right not to trust the British government. False promises and outright lies about a trade deal have been dripped into the British public’s and EU’s ears by Brexiteers since 2016. Many of these promises have been quietly dropped in the intervening years, as the reality proved more difficult and ministers’ big claims have come to nothing.

All at sea over a Brexit deal – and fishermen may be left high and dry

Rick Dillon

The fishermen of Hastings once dreamt of a return to a Britain that charted its own course, freed from having to share its coastal waters and fishing opportunities with French, Spanish and Dutch rivals. It was a powerful message behind Brexit – symbolising ‘our island nation’, which once ruled the waves and now had to […]

Free and equal in dignity and rights … for now

Caroline Brown

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948) They’re invisible, intangible and all too easy to lose down the back of the sofa – but you really do need to hang on to human rights. Britain can look back with justifiable pride at a long […]