Feeling the Pulse

Bath for Europe’s monthly Pulse of Europe, August 2018. Photo © Matthew Perks.

With summer in full swing and Westminster in recess, it might be tempting to take time off and not think about Brexit for a few weeks, but that’s not the way to head off arguably the biggest disaster this country has faced since World War II. That said, our monthly Pulse of Europe (held on the first Sunday of the month) is more than a protest, it’s about linking up with friends and neighbours around the UK and across the sea to the continent – an expression of pan-European solidarity.

In seven months, this country could crash out of a union we’ve had for over forty years which has brought peace and prosperity. It’s clear that neither the government nor the opposition has a plan of action so it’s vital the people get to say whether the final deal Theresa May brings back from Brussels is one that will boost our economy, guarantee that we are not less secure than at present and keep the peace (especially in Northern Ireland). How best to do that? The national People’s Vote campaign for a say on the final deal is gathering momentum and at our August Pulse we were happy to talk to passers-by and let them know it’s not too late to make a change.

Bath for Europe supporters making a statement in front of the iconic Royal Crescent. Photo © Matthew Perks.

Bath was looking its most beautiful as a group of us gathered under blue skies for a short rally and a march through the streets led by drummer Steve Rouse from Swindon for Europe. Heading up Gay Street with flags and banners blowing in the gentle breeze, we stopped for photos and a live Facebook broadcast at both The Circus and the Royal Crescent. Emblematic of our lovely heritage city’s prosperous past, the two locations provided a sharp reminder of who the main beneficiaries of Brexit will be. Not the poor living in deprived areas who voted to leave as they wanted change, but the super rich, such as local MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, whose company Somerset Capital is banking on the UK turning into a low tax, zero regulatory haven. Or local business entrepreneur James Dyson, £2bn richer since the referendum as a result of the low pound, who has admitted on TV that a hard Brexit will make it easier to hire and fire workers.

It’s not too late to take back control and let the people decide whether Brexit is in our interests – or not. Join our campaign, sign the national petition for a People’s Vote, chat to us at our street stalls in Bath and the wider area and come to our next Pulse on September 2nd , from 2pm in Abbey Churchyard.

On a final note, we are nothing without our volunteers so a big thank you to Matthew Perks for taking such captivating photographs.

Jane Riekemann