A brilliant thread on making a first step towards taking responsibility, and why more words, less flags would be far better.

First published in February 2020.

I’m a European. An EU citizen in the UK.

I was never really one for flags, although they made sense during the big marches over the last years or on public buildings. However, I have a bit of an issue with the EU memorabilia code going on at present.

The whole blue and yellow dress has been turned first into a nod, then into an identifier – and that is all fine. But reports now come that suddenly this has turned into a ‘uniform’ issue on a wider scale.

Remainers are all Europeans, irrespective of attire. They all fought for the European idea for almost 4 years.

Now we are leaving. We are still Europeans in our hearts.

But clinging to the EU as our main driver for protest can easily become a hindrance for us. Remember: we ourselves identified the problem from the start... “It was never about the EU.”

The problems we face are internal to the British society. They are irrespective of EU membership. To continue hingeing our opposition on the EU just signals to right-wingers that we are lost without our big blue friend, who we still see as a ‘protector’.

This could block our minds from addressing the true problems and ugly reality in this country. We should not be fighting to rejoin at present – we should fight for change full stop. Attack injustice, racism, inequality. Show that we stay even if Britain leaves.

Many British voters – number crunching over #FPTP and cohersion aside – fell out of love with the EU. They will not automatically change their minds because Tories ruin their lives. They need to rediscover that their own values are best matched with EU partners.

If the EU ceased to exist tomorrow, I would still uphold these values. And that is what we need to harness: formulating and promoting them.

A redefinition of Britain as a society that would embrace EU voluntarily is needed. It can only come out of our own accord – even our EU partners would probably share that view. We can’t ask them to do the work for us. We have to grow up.

There is nothing inherently un-European in sidelining the EU as a driver for our movement if the long term goal is to get us ready to rejoin at some point in time as a stabilised society.

I would see this as a first step towards taking responsibility.

Tweets posted on 30 January 2020 by @Shieldmaid8.

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[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 4 February 2020 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Wikimedia/ilovetheeu. - Birmingham Bin Brexit march for a People's Vote. | 30 Sept 2018. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)