Brexit sparks argument

Hastings centre - European movement invites opinions

Tempers flared at a stall in central Hastings on Saturday January 26, where volunteers from the European Movement, which supports remaining in the EU, had set up to gather local Brexit opinions.

Just a few steps away was a similar stall for the Brexit camp, but with fewer people around it. An altercation happened at the Remain stall where a leaver ranted at a remainer putting a sticker on the board, accusing her of not believing in democracy, but the incident did not ecalate further.

At the Remain stall, people queued to put a sticker on a board against their choice of answer and chatted to the volunteers. Among the questions were: “Do you agree/disagree with a people’s vote, no deal or the deal Theresa May put on the table?”

Most “agree” stickers were applied to the question: “Would you want to stay in the EU and reform it from within?”

The ‘leave’ campaign stall in Hastings

The stall had a leaflet with a quote from Winston Churchill in 1946. Graham Bishop, vice-chair of the European Movement and an experienced European integrationist read through Churchill’s many quotes and speeches to oppose the rumour that latter was really a Eurosceptic. It said the goal was: “To recreate the European Family, or as much as we can, and provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom.”  Churchill was one of the first Honorary Presidents of the European Movement.

Image Credits: Heidi Foster .


  1. In 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU. The vote was held after parliament, by an overwhelming majority, passed the referendum act. It was made 100% clear before it passed that its purpose was for the people to decide. That was repeated in the government’s leaflet. The European Movement received funding € 350,000 from the EU (Europe for Citizens programme, European Commission) – information from EU transperancy register 22/02/2018. It also received funds from Soros of £182,000 (making his contributions to anti democracy campaigns £800,000) (Source The Guardian February 2018.)

    The European Movement wants a United States of Europe, although they are too shy to ask for people’s opinion on the EU Army, Finance Ministry, Police (Military and Civil) as well as the breaking up of the UK in to “Regions.” Calls for a “People’s vote” by organisations that want to overturn democracy is risible. Calls from an organisation so closely linked to the EU, which has consistently ignored all democratic votes it does not like, is obscene.

    The tone of this piece is in favour of those seeking to overthrow democracy. Why?

    Churchill was a democrat and a patriot, but let him speak for himself. On 29 November 1951, he wrote a minute on Robert Schumann’s plan for a European Iron and Steel Community — which was to form the basis for the later EEC — that stated unequivocally: “Our attitude towards further economic developments on the Schuman lines resembles that which we adopt about the European Army. We help, we dedicate, we play a part, but we are not merged with and do not forfeit our insular or Commonwealth character…. It is only when plans for uniting Europe take a federal form that we ourselves cannot take part, because we cannot subordinate ourselves or the control of British policy to federal authorities.”

    Those who are against democracy should explain what they want in its stead. Trying to use democracy to destroy itself is a sad legacy of 20th century Germany – it must be rejected by all who hold freedom and democracy dear.

    [NOTE: This has been lightly edited to remove a personal reference.]

  2. Unfortunately there is no such thing as democracy or fairness in this world. A powerful few play with the plebs. The folks playing at Rye News are so pro Remain (this won’t get published!)

    Editor replies: You are fully entitled to your views, Timothy, but let me correct you on a couple of points: first, the full week’s work that is required to produce this paper every Friday is certainly not ‘playing’ at it and, second, you should not assume that ‘the folks at Rye News are so pro Remain’. Like everywhere else in the country, the Rye News team is split with both sides of the argument being represented. We have, in the past, been accused of being pro Brexit so the fact that you now take the opposite view would seem to suggest we have got it about right.


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