West London for Europe

South west London groups rally to try to prevent ‘dark Brexit’

A pro-EU group staged a day of action across south west London on Saturday to fight ‘dark Brexit’ ahead of a demonstration later this month.

Members of West London for Europe rallied at Bishop’s Park, Fulham, at 9am before manning stalls at Duke of York Square, Chelsea, and High Street Kensington over the course of the day to engage with passers-by.

The campaigners, who are working with Open Britain, also encouraged members of the public to write to their MPs ahead of an imminent parliamentary vote on triggering Article 50.

Nacho Morais, 39, a group organiser, said: “At the end of the day I think it’s about the values – cohesion, tolerance, justice – there are things we have closer, not only on the economic side, like the single market, but on the social side as well, the rights of EU citizens here, the rights of British citizens in the EU, and all the protections.”

“We started with the Bishop’s Park run, then we had been to Duke of York Square to a very warm reception from the locals actually — they were very engaged.”

Mr Morais, a financial consultant from Madrid who has been living in the UK for ten years, added: “Many people don’t want to see a maximalist form of Brexit that was not on the ballot paper.”

Asked if he felt his own future was uncertain, he replied Theresa May should be more pro-active in guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens.

West London for Europe, a cross-party grassroots movement funded by donations and run by volunteers, also liaises with similar pro-EU groups including East London for Europe, and Lambeth for Europe.

Saturday’s day of action precedes a demonstration on 25 March, dubbed Unite for Europe, in which pro-Europeans will march on parliament as the deadline for triggering Article 50 approaches.

Tamara Dragadze, a treasurer with the group, is predicting to see thousands of people, including campaigners fighting government policy on health and education.

Dr Dragadze said: “The NHS cannot survive without EU nationals and there might be some education people because on 22 March the consultation ends for this absolutely mad idea that the secretary for education Justine Greening wants to cut budgets for schools in London.

“London needs the most highly-skilled people to take over the jobs of the EU people who leave, and they’re cutting school budgets – in London. I mean, it’s crazy.”

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