|A message from our Chair to all our Supporters …|
Like scores of other pro-EU groups around the country, North Yorkshire for Europe have been re-evaluating our aims and objectives in the light of political events and the covid pandemic – and we want all of you to to be part of the next phase of our development as a campaign group.
For obvious reasons, we’ve suspended campaign activities on the ground for most of the lockdown. But although eNewsletters have been few and far between, our steering committee has remained active with regular zoom meetings over the past year. We’ve been using the time to take stock of the new post-Brexit world we live in and consider how we as a group should move forward.
Having consulted with our friends in other “For Europe” groups and the European Movement (of which we are a branch), we’ve put together proposals for a revised constitution and a new draft Mission Statement which will set out our future aims and objectives (please see below).
To approve these – and to help reinvigorate our committee structure and membership – we’ve also set a date for our long-postponed Annual General Meeting, which will be held via zoom at 7pm on Thursday, March 4th. Everyone is warmly invited! Please register here to take part.
We will send out an agenda nearer the time. In the meantime we’re asking anyone interested to put their names forward for election to the new committee – and we’re also asking for volunteers for proposed new working groups (please see below).
We are determined to build on the fantastic achievements of our group over the past three years – and to expand our amazing network of motivated, like-minded people. We already have some ideas for possible new campaigns/ initiatives during and beyond the current lockdown (please see below) – but we also want to hear from you what you think we should be doing. We remain committed to working alongside our European friends towards a fairer, more democratic society.
Finally, on a personal note, I won’t be seeking re-election as chair at the AGM next month – I aim to concentrate instead on playing an active role on our steering committee as communications/ media officer. I look forward to working with a new chair when he/she is elected as we enter an exciting new phase in our development.
I hope to see you at our zoom meeting on March 4th (and I hope in the not-too-distant future we will be able to take part in an old-fashioned physical meeting!).
Best wishes and stay safe,
Chair North Yorkshire for Europe
|Steering Committee positions for re-election|
Please let us know if you’re interested in putting your name forward for election to any of the positions below:
Membership Development Officer
Data Protection Officer
European Movement Liaison Officer
To put your name forward please email the committee, stating which position(s) you are interested in
|Some ideas for possible future campaigns – does one of these interest you?|
We’re keen to recruit volunteers for some ideas we’re looking at. To help us plan for this, please let us know if you’re interested in helping out by clicking on the relevant link below – you can give as little or as much time as you wish. If you have an idea of your own, please click on the link at the bottom
Maintaining and strengthening ties with with EU insititutions
Now that Brexit has happened, it’s important that we work to maintain and strengthen our ties with EU27 citizens and institutions. This is to our mutual benefit and will help us towards our long-term goal of rejoining the EU. Some initiatives have already been taken – for example, an EU-UK Friendship Group has been set up by EU27 MEPs. We are also exploring the idea of supporting Twinning Associations and perhaps helping to establish new ones between towns and villages in North Yorkshire with their counterparts in EU27 countries. (We are also keen to support Europe Day, something which our colleagues at York for Europe are already planning for May 2022)
If you’re interested in helping out on this, please email us here
The Government’s mean-spirited decision to withdraw from the EU’s Erasmus student exchange programme will snatch the opportunity of a lifetime from thousands of students and young people from across Yorkshire and the UK.
Despite a promise made by Boris Johnson in the Commons last January that “there is no threat to the Erasmus scheme” he has now decided it’s “too costly.” Ministers have hastily announced their alternative “Turing” scheme to enable students to go on exchanges “across the world.” Apart from encouraging young people to travel further, creating more CO2 emissions, the Turing scheme is far less generous than Erasmus – which offers university and college students and apprentices a monthly living grant, with higher grants and bursaries for young people from low-income backgrounds.
The Scottish government is now in talks with the EU over the possibility of Scottish students continuing to have access to Erasmus. Why shouldn’t young people from Yorkshire also have this opportunity?
Would you be interested in helping to spread the word about Erasmus to young people – and in increasing pressure on Yorkshire MPs to do the right thing? If so, please email us
Despite assurances to the contrary, the negative consequences of Brexit on our communities and our economy are becoming ever more apparent. For example, the Yorkshire crab and shellfish industry, the UK’s largest, is facing major problems with exports to the EU – which used to account for 80 per cent of its market. And Yorkshire Bylines’ David Davies Downside Dossier , named after the former Brexit Secretary who told the Commons in 2016 “there will be no downside to Brexit at all,” has so far listed 78 downsides ranging from a steep increase in delivery supply times for UK factories and new taxes on exports of steel products from South Yorkshire to five-fold increases in debit card fees for British shoppers buying from EU-based companies.
We’re keen to keep track of the impact of Brexit on local businesses, organisations, communities and individuals – particularly human interest stories – and to make local media aware.
Would you be interested in helping to gather and compile information on this? If so, please email us
Protecting food and animal welfare standards
The quality of the food we eat – where it comes from and how it is produced – is something that concerns all of us. In rural North Yorkshire farming is a big part of our local economy – yet traditional farming is under grave threat from post-Brexit deregulation and cheap imports of food produced to lower safe, environmental and welfare standards than those required of UK farmers.
A few months ago North Yorkshire for Europe took a lead in helping to organise two high-profile tractor rallies – in Northallerton and Stokesley – alongside Save British Farming. This helped to kick-start other tractor rallies around the country and SBF are keen push forward with their campaign to stop dodgy food imports as part of trade deals with the US and other countries.
Would you be interested in helping to support this campaign from a North Yorkshire perspective? If so please email us
Other ideas for specific areas we could look at: Lobbying political parties to support Proportional Representation; Helping EU27 Citizens in North Yorkshire/ Yorkshire
Have an idea of your own? Please email us here
Mission Statement and Values
DRAFT – for approval by AGM…
Our Mission is to rebuild and develop our relationship with Europe and the European Union.
* Champion our European values, including democracy, human rights, peace, prosperity, economic and social justice and respect for the environment
* Defend the rights and freedoms of all people in the UK and Europe
* Work closely with other local, regional, national and international pro-European organisations where there is a shared interest and alignment of values
* Support a close and mutually advantageous relationship with the European continent and its countries
* Give voice to people and businesses adversely affected by our changed relationship with our European neighbours
* Campaign for the UK to maintain parity with the highest European standards on food, human rights, worker’s protections and the environment.
Our Values are: Internationalism, Friendship, Openness, Inclusivity, Respect, Peace, Democracy, Honesty, Justice and Liberty