Two-and-a-half years after the EU Referendum, in which Enfield voted ‘remain’ but the UK voted ‘leave’, local campaigner Sarah Dodgson issues a final plea to cancel Brexit
For the past two years, a group of ordinary local people have taken to the streets to talk to people in Enfield, face to face, about the European Union (EU).
That group is Enfield for Europe and we welcome input and representatives of all political parties and all the pro-EU campaigns. We started in summer 2016, when a handful of EU Referendum campaigners felt there was something very wrong with the official remain campaigns. Positive information about jobs, rights and protections from the EU, about where EU money was benefiting Enfield, and what Enfield would lose if we left, wasn’t being publicised. Leaving was not going to be good for local regeneration projects, or for our EU citizen friends and neighbours.
Enfield for Europe was formed to help mend the national view of the EU and to make the conversation about not leaving less toxic. By joining together all the different campaigns that sprang up in 2016 and 2017, Enfield for Europe grew as a local activist group. A big banner attracted Enfield people on marches and at meetings; a rally outside Southgate Underground Station hit the local headlines; our website was created by a local school student; and various social media feeds grew popular.
After the referendum the group rejected any message that leaving was inevitable, and that we should settle for a questionable Westminster deal. It became a voice for people who were telling us, and what their workplaces were saying, about how bad Brexit would be for local industry. We joined together both the People’s Vote and Stop Brexit campaigns, stickered the Labour Live festival in Haringey, and added Enfield’s red beast and stars badge to the Stand of Defiance European Movement (SODEM) banner at the Houses of Parliament.
We are constantly having to bust myths. Many of the problems blamed on the EU are not the fault of the European Parliament where we can use our voting power to improve our lives. We have all found out that Brexit will deplete the funds available for the NHS, and will go on costing us for years to come.
Enfield for Europe has met with local MPs to ask them to speak out against the racism that Brexit has created in our communities and we protested about this issue at Enfield Council last May. We want to spread positive messages about the ability of the EU to fix the big crises facing the world, from air pollution to migration.
Enfield for Europe keeps coming back to the reality that simply stopping Brexit altogether is the best ‘deal’ available to Enfield and to the UK. Regardless of any concessions from the EU, a change in prime minister, or even a change in government, the best solution for Enfield is to cancel Brexit and remain in the EU – even if it takes another vote to find out what people really want. Then we can build a peaceful, anti-racist society in our neighbourhood.
For more information about the Enfield for Europe campaign: