Article 50 Day: I am British, a Londoner AND European

Article 50 Day: I am British, a Londoner AND European

Article: British Nationalities & Identities, Victoria RennoldsonSo “Article 50 Day” is today, Wednesday 29th March 2017. After everything seemed to go so quiet at the end of 2016, it now seems we are finally facing the reality of leaving the EU.

The mood is quite dark, and I have seen many people describe this exit like a divorce- final, sad and uncomfortable. I know that many of you are feeling worried and uncertain about the future and what the negotiations of the next 2 years will bring.

These current events are the result of a vote last June, which seemed so simple, too simple- just vote yes or no, in or out, remain or leave.

It’s easy to feel the UK has rejected Europe, but remember nearly 60% of London’s population voted Remain. There are a lot of people out there who still want an open, diverse country and city, and are fighting for it. There are others who voted Leave and now regret their vote, now they understand the true result of their action.

London is a truly global city, and not being part of the EU can’t change that. We are talking about leaving the EU, an organisation which today is primarily economic, political and legal- we’re NOT leaving Europe. The diversity of this multi-cultural city is rich and spectacular, with 300 different languages in London, and we have always been known to be a welcoming, open city for immigrants throughout centuries of history. The EU and its predecessors have only been around for 60 years, and so my sincere hope is that we will continue to be open and welcoming, as ew were before the EU existed.

So I felt it was very important to say today, I am British AND a Londoner AND European. I have many identities and they exist happily together, I do not choose 1 over the other. Leaving the EU does not stop me being European and feeling part of Europe, or part of the world. In fact, for me being a Londoner means that I embrace the world and celebrate it. Many Londoners and British people feel like me, and for us you are always welcome here. So let’s celebrate being European today!

Victoria Rennoldson, Perfect Cuppa English

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