THE BREXIT: IS IT WORTH IT? BUS TOUR
Cookridge Street, Leeds, 5pm on 23 February 2018

A national tour by a bus emblazoned with the slogan ‘Brexit to cost £2,000 million a week’’ is to reach Leeds on Friday, 23 February at 5pm.​​

Charles Seaford, one of the organisers, said “This is a light-hearted attempt to draw attention to a very big  issue. The Government’s own leaked analysis is that Brexit with a Free Trade Agreement will cost us 5% of GDP after 15 years. At today’s prices that means being £2,000 million a week poorer than we otherwise would have been. To put this impact in context, we currently spend £2,500 million a week on the NHS across the UK”.

Vote Leave’s bus, falsely claimed that we send the EU £350 million a week when the true cost is more like £200 million a week. Now the Government’s own analysis shows the hit to our economy from leaving the EU will be ten times as great as the cost of staying in. Leaving without a trade deal, as some people are willing to do, will cost £3,200 million a week or sixteen times the price of EU membership. Some people might be willing to pay that price but many more will ask ‘Is it worth it?’

A fair, balanced and fully-sourced summary of the various likely Brexit scenarios is set out at www.isitworthit.org.uk.

During its 8 day tour, the bus will make 33 stops in towns and cities across the country at which there will be speaker events featuring local businesspeople, trade unionists, and politicians.

Around 670 individuals across Britain contributed an average of £24 each to make the tour possible and 20 local grassroots groups have organised the events, including Leeds for Europe.

Please support this event!  Meet at 5pm on Friday, 23 February at Cookridge Street, Leeds (just off The Headrow, between the Henry Moore institute and The Light).

For further details about the tour, see  www.isitworthit.org.uk.

Shine A Light 4 Europe
Sunday, 25 February 2018 at 6.30pm

YOn February 25th of this year, an event will be taking place across the whole of Europe at 18:30 GMT.  People will be gathering across the continent and beyond to express their pro-EU sentiment and stand up for the values of light, cooperation and solidarity in the face of Brexit.  People will be congregating to light up torches, mobile phones or any other lights they choose.

In some cities around the UK (including Leeds), people will be gathering outside their local BBC Studio where they will hope to attract media coverage.  Other cities will choose different locations to shine a light.


Leeds for Europe are proud to be supporting this initiative.  We will be meeting at 6.30pm on 25 February outside the BBC Yorkshire studios at St. Peter's Square, Leeds, LS9 8AH.  Please come along and bring a light, flag, colourful clothes - in fact, anything you want to join this pan-European celebration!

For further details, see:
https://www.facebook.com/events/168743887184109/permalink/173050940086737/ 


Letters to Yorkshire MPs

Leeds for Europe have been writing to our local MPs setting out our red lines on the Brexit negotitions.  We would strongly encourage everyone to do the same.  You may want to use our letter as inspiration for your own.  It is available for download here:
Letter to MPs.pdf
Letter to MPs.doc

European Capital of Culture 2023:
Leeds Dream Crushed by Brexit

On 23 November 2017 the European Commission confirmed what many had suspected - that because of Brexit no UK city would be eligible to be the European Capital of Culture for the year 2023.  The Yorkshire Evening Post broke the news here .  We wrote to them to give our reaction, part of which was published.  This is the full text of the letter that we sent:

On behalf of Leeds for Europe I write to express our dismay at the news that, because of Brexit, Leeds will not be eligible to become the European Capital of Culture in 2023.  We have no doubt that had this bid been allowed to proceed then Leeds would have had an excellent chance of being awarded the honour of being the UK’s next host city.

This is a particularly cruel blow given that Leeds voted to Remain in the EU in the referendum of June 2016.  Yet this may just be the start of the suffering for our city and its people as the Brexit process picks up momentum.

During and since the EU referendum people who attempted to point out the many downsides of Brexit were accused of scaremongering and exaggeration.  Now that our government is dragging us down the path towards the exit door from the European Union it is becoming apparent that, if anything, the warnings about Brexit have been understated.

On Wednesday in the budget the Chancellor announced that forecasts of the UK’s economic growth have been downgraded for the foreseeable future, making the UK the poorest performing major economy in the world, having been, until the 2016 referendum, one of the best.  Wages are now not expected to return to 2008 levels until 2025 at the earliest.

In the same budget, the government announced that it is setting aside a staggering £3 billion to pay for the costs of implementing Brexit – more than it was able to allocate to funding the NHS.  That is £3bn spent on recruiting civil servants, building lorry parks, installing new IT systems and setting up new bureaucracy to handle tasks previously carried out within the EU.  That is £3bn that we are paying for through our taxes and which will not be available to spend on our schools, hospitals, police or armed forces.  What a waste.

It is not too late to change our minds about Brexit.  Leeds for Europe are campaigning for a referendum to be held once the full implications of Brexit are known.  Surely, in any walk of life, if something isn’t working you stop doing it before it is too late?

Yours faithfully

Richard Wilson
Secretary, Leeds for Europe​