At its monthly rally and march, Bath for Europe supporters celebrated reasons to remain in the EU. The group, many wearing #bEUrets, gathered in Bath Abbey Churchyard with banners and placards. Bath for Europe Chair Emma Knaggs welcomed the group and shared some of the countless positives that the UK derives from its membership of the EU.
Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, praised the group for its persistence in the fight to stop Brexit. Bath and North East Somerset Council is now in the control of the Liberal Democrats who are avowedly pro-Remain. She focused on the hugely influential role that the UK has played in the EU. It would be a terrible shame for our country to relinquish its powerful position at the heart of Europe.
Chanting “Stop Brexit” and calling for a Peoples’ Vote now, the peaceful, positive marchers made their way through the city centre which was thronged with people including many rugby fans. The group ended up at Saw Close where Klaus Riekemann, originally from Germany, shared his personal story as a long-time resident and now citizen of the UK.
Klaus told the group: “When I moved to the UK in 1979, I was lucky to meet a girl who loved me as much as I loved her. You guessed it: yes, she was British. Little did I know how our life together would turn out. After years together abroad, finally the company I worked for moved my working position back to the UK and we settled in Bath. By then I was one of 3.5 million lost European souls. We and our family were happy and content when we found that Bath was the ultimate place to enjoy life. In 2016 inept politicians came up with a brilliant idea to have a referendum on leaving the EU or not.”
“The British people were misled with false promises and obscure statistics. Much of the arguments centred on immigration. When the Home Office issued false information to a large number of people to ‘make provisions to leave the UK or be deported’, I thought my time had come to be forced to leave my family.”
“Now I have my British Passport and am formally registered as a British Citizen. To be honest, I am happy to see the ton of bricks removed from my shoulders which could be used to build a home for another immigrant.”
“The essence of my story here is please talk to your friends, neighbours and associates to register as soon as possible for the coming European Parliamentary elections and vote to remain. It is not your future or their future. It is OUR future to live in peace and harmony. And with Europe Day on Thursday 9thMay it is a highly appropriate time to recognize the most important contributions the EU has given us,” Klaus concluded.
Susanne Haberer, an EU27 citizen, also urged supporters to use their votes in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections.
Bath for Europe is holding a selective hustings of pro-Remain EU Parliamentary candidates on Wednesday 8th May from 7 – 9 pm at the Bath Function Rooms above the Green Park Brasserie. The four speakers are Clare Moody MEP (Labour Party), Molly Scott Cato MEP (Green Party), Caroline Voaden (Liberal Democrats) and Ollie Middleton (Change UK – The Independent Group). Book your free ticket via this link.