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Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Nottingham People’s Vote campaigners join march on European Parliament

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Nottingham campaigners joined colleagues from Yorkshire and across the country to march on the European Parliament this week to show their support for a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal.

They also took part in a moving ceremony paying tribute to Jo Cox, the MP who was murdered by a right-wing fanatic during the referendum campaign in 2016. The Yorkshire Remain Voice Choir sang Bread of Heaven at the Place Jo Cox near the centre of Brussels.

A family friend Salli Martlew then laid a garland of hand-knitted white roses in the Place Jo Cox. The garland contained the words now so poignantly associated with her, “We have more in common than that which divides us”.

The square was named after Jo Cox because it was one of her favourite places to relax in when she visited the city on parliamentary business.

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Madeleina Kay, who was the 2018 Young European of the Year, attended the main rally and held up the Nottingham in the EU banner before performing some of her songs and then singing along with the choir.

Madeleina Kay holds Nottingham banner

The campaigners, whose ages ranged from 16 to 83, also met EU officials and London MEP Seb Dance to discuss a range of topics including the impact of a No Deal Brexit on the UK and the rest of Europe.

The march organiser, Louise Houghton, said: “This was the first time a UK-based remain campaign group had staged a rally of this size in Brussels, and it was certainly the first time the Yorkshire Remain Voice Choir had gone ‘on tour’!

“Our message was loud and clear – don’t give up on us, we want to remain! Everywhere we went we were met with smiles and thanks, from people who love us and know that we’re fighting hard to stay part of a united Europe. It was an absolute pleasure to be joined by representatives from Nottingham People’s Vote and from Angels for Europe up in the North East. We’re already planning our next trip.”

Susan Martin, one of the founding members of the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire People’s Vote Group, said: “It was a wonderful event. The Yorkshire Remain Choir are wonderful and it’s great to know there were some Nottingham voices in there as well to help drive home message that while Brexit MEPs might turn their backs on Europe, a growing majority of people in the UK most certainly do not and would prefer to stay in the EU.”

East Midlands Liberal Democrat MEP Bill Newton Dunn praised the commitment of the campaigners, saying: “Well done, you guys. You have my full support.”