I’ve got a bEUret, and I’m going to use it

Bath for Europe supporter. Photo © Joao Diniz Sanches.

I went on the march in London in October and had bought my bEUret to wear there.  But, as I’d paid a tenner* for it, I was determined to get my money’s worth. So, in November, I took to the streets to join Bath for Europe’s weekly street stand…wearing it at what I thought was a jaunty angle. Not too aggressive. Just the right amount of “I’m open to talking and won’t spout politics.”

Don’t get me wrong…I felt a bit of a tit. I don’t normally stand around shouting on street corners. But, these days, needs must. I also had a few nerves about who I would meet and how they would react.

I went with the more neutral ‘shout out’:…”We’re campaigning for a People’s Vote so we can get the final say on Brexit”.

Strangely, people were largely receptive (one woman actually RAN up to me to get a leaflet) though, of course, there were many who were just out to do some shopping and ignored my perfectly (in my mind) crafted opening line.

And then I met my first Brexiteer.  He’d wandered past as I made my rallying cry and muttered the classic, “We’ve already had a vote”.   He was only the second person to say this.  The first I’d let pass as I didn’t have a great retort.  I still didn’t this time but somehow, much to his wife’s annoyance, I managed to get him to stop and talk.

Once we got passed his opening gambit of: “If you know so much, who’s the president of the European Parliament?”, (it’s Antonio Tajani, by the way) we got on to the French.  How we would be fine except that they were determined to ruin us by blockading the ports to stop us trading.

This was a story that had come out of the ether that week, fuelled by Dominic Raab. The Sun and others have since run stories on how difficult the French are being. Unsurprisingly, all have omitted the fact that, rather than being disruptive, the French are implementing emergency laws that allow whatever changes are needed to keep goods moving through ports without the requirement of a government vote. A step far beyond what our government is doing to help.

Anyway. Despite my efforts, I failed to convert any of the Brexiteers I spoke to that day but, as someone said recently, “You just need to sow the seed that might make them change their minds later”.

That, and wear a bEUret, of course.

Rebecca Hilliard

*all proceeds go back in to fighting to secure a People’s Vote/Stop Brexit.