Two passionate pro-Remain campaigners – our Bath MP Wera Hobhouse and Lord Andrew Adonis – joined forces in the centre of Bath on Saturday, engaging with Bath for Europe supporters and local residents. Lord Adonis, one of our major political thinkers, had just given a riveting talk at the Bath Festival. He has been on a listening tour of the UK, from the Northeast to the Welsh Valleys, in his efforts to understand residents’ concerns. The Labour peer believes there is a pro-Remain movement sweeping the country as more and more people realise that Brexit will make them poorer. “I think we can stop it,” he said.
In his talk at the Bath Festival, Adonis shared his insights on the current political landscape. Isolation from the economic heart of the UK drove the vote to Leave. “We must have big and serious devolution in England to bring government and decision-making closer to the people…We have to get real about change in this country. We need to be big on reform.” He called for a second chamber in the UK along federal lines to safeguard a devolution mandate. Counties, regions and nations must be represented.
Joining Bath for Europe supporters afterwards, Adonis gave a soapbox speech. “Bath is a great citadel of Europe. You’ve got a great university, you’ve got a great people. You realise that our future is as a European country. We can be proud to be in Bath, we can be proud to be English, we can be proud to be in Britain and we can be proud to be European. What we need to do over the next year is to make it clear that you can be all of those things. You don’t lose anything by being in Europe – you just gain.”
“Thank you so much for coming,” Wera Hobhouse said. “Bath is a fantastic community and I am so proud of the people of Bath who have kept this campaign going and we are growing and growing. We can win this, we must win it, we will win it…Let’s continue to fight for what we believe is the right thing to do. Thank you for coming, Andrew, you’ve given us great encouragement.”
“Keep up the good work,” Andrew concluded. “There’s six months before the House of Commons takes these key decisions, and every Member of Parliament needs to be aware that what their constituents want to do is to stop Brexit and stay in Europe. And if they all take the same principled stand that Wera is taking here in Bath, then we can stop this and have a much better future. And remember, no one, two years ago, voted to be poorer. If we leave the European Union we will be economically poorer but we will also be culturally and spiritually poorer. We will divorcing ourselves from the continent of which we are a part and the civilisation that is at the heart of being British. We need to stop Brexit and stay in Europe.”