We are Oxford for Europe – a group of volunteers working to help Oxford remain the welcoming and vibrant international centre that it has always been.
While our activity is mainly in Oxford, we support activities across Oxfordshire and the UK in co-operation with numerous other formal and informal pro-EU organisations. We are affiliated to the European Movement UK, and work closely with Grassroots for Europe, March for Change, Best for Britain and many others. For further information about allied groups please follow this link.
Brexit has happened, but that only increases the need to promote pro-EU voices, to make EU citizens welcome, to share news from the EU and to encourage more people to get involved in building a pro-European city, county and country. With the country facing unprecedented difficulties as a result of the pandemic, we need to ensure that we do not lose sight of the need to cooperate across borders, and to mitigate the increasingly obvious damage since 1 January 2021
If you want to join us, click the link above.
For the latest news from the EU, download the EU Citizens App from the Google or Apple store.
Oxford for Europe held its AGM via Zoom on 9th November. The following were elected to officer posts: Chair: Peter Burke; Secretary: John Tanner; treasurer: Susan Hartman.
We said farewell to our long-serving and tireless founder secretary, Jo Steele.
If you are a member or supporter and would like further information please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
See also here
Paul Willner – a tribute
The Oxford for Europe member, Paul Willner, died recently.
You can read a tribute here.
Gaza / Israel
Our thoughts are very much with the innocent victims of this terrible conflict.
Speakers from all denominations spoke for us in our desire for a just and lasting peace, held in Oxford on 5th November.
National Rejoin March
The second National Rejoin March happened on 23 September.
Starmer needs to think again
You can read our letter to the Oxford Times here
Our most recent meeting
Future UK-EU Relations – is there any hope?
Virtual meeting with Alex Andreou and David Henig. 9th March 2023
The state we’re in
Virtual meeting with the brilliant Prof Richard Murphy, of the popular Tax Research blog.
A perfect storm of crises
Our previous meeting
With Lord John Alderdice, first speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and distinguished economist Vicky Pryce
Wednesday 16th November 2022, 7 pm
The Brexit Debate
Parliament debated a petition initiated by Peter Packham of the European Movement on 24 April. Nearly 200,000 have signed it.
You can watch the debate here. It shows clearly the different views of the political parties, and if you feel strongly about the policy on Brexit of your favoured party, please let your local MP know so they can be in no doubt about what the people think.
National Rejoin March on 22 October – what a day!
The National Rejoin March happened on Saturday 22 October 2022.
Further information here. Many of the Oxford for Europe team came, and contributed to an attendance of 50,000. We got good coverage in the domestic and international press, even if the BBC pretended it was not happening.
You can see photos from the march here.
Retained EU Laws Bill – a U turn?
The government is allegedly doing a drastic U-turn on the Retained EU Law Bill, their disastrous plan paving the way to scrap over 4,000 protections and standards carried over from our time in the EU. Let’s hope it scraps the whole thing.
The UK is the only country in Europe apart from Belarus that uses the First Past the Post Voting System.
Make Votes Matter is a national non party political movement for Proportional Representation and the group recently held a public meeting in Oxford with speakers including Klina Jordan, co-founder of MVM, Local Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, Green Party Councillor, Emily Kerr and local GP Dr Helen Salisbury among others. Watch the video here
Make Votes Matter is planning a mass lobby of Parliament on May 24th. More details here.
Latest blog from the Chair: The Reverse Midas Touch (2 December 2023)
Letter from America (August 2023)
Illegal by name and illegal by nature (30 April 2023)
Making Brexit Work – Fantasy or Deception? A letter to Keir Starmer (11 December 2022)
The Year of the Lettuce (31 December 2022)
The Unflipped Chair (26 March 2023)
Terry Reintke in Oxford
We recently had a visit from German Green MEP, Terry Reintke. Watch the video here. (Thanks to Mike Cashman)
European Convention on Human Rights
The UK was a founder member and is a leading participant. All European countries except Belarus and now Russia are members. Don’t let this government tell you than following Russia out is asserting independence from a foreign court.
Sign the petitions:
Ukraine – make your voice heard
Against the background of recent terrible events in Ukraine, many of our supporters joined the protests organised by the Oxford University Ukrainian Society at the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford (details here). Join us if you can. Click here for for the OUUS Facebook Page.
Here is some info from the Ukrainian Institute about how you can help. And the Disasters Emergency Committee has set up a page for donations.
A Word From Will Hutton
At one of our recent events our Supporter,
Will Hutton, struck an optimistic note
about the future of our cause
Our Most Recent Meeting:
Post-Brexit Britain – Failure And Fragmentation
Alexandra Hall Hall and Richard Haviland
Thursday 24th February 2022
Our Previous Meeting was on Wednesday 19th January 2022
‘A Painful Transition’
with Neale Richmond TD and Susanne Oberhauser
Our Previous Meetings
How is Brexit Damaging Oxford?
Our friends at The Oxford European Association organised an event at the Town Hall with the support of Oxford for Europe to answer this question. The key speaker was Andrew Adonis, Chair of the European Movement, together with local speakers from the business and academic communities on Thursday, 28th October
AC Grayling on 18th August
The UK in Europe – New Perspectives
Thursday 15th July 2021
With Annette Dittert and Alex Andreou
Other Previous Events:
We have had numerous virtual meetings, featuring speakers as diverse as Lord Andrew Adonis, Layla Moran MP, Ian Dunt, Terry Reintke, Richard Corbett, Tony Connelly, Jonathan Lis, Chris Grey, Jessica Simor, Peter Jukes, Peter Geoghegan, Philippa Whitford, Dominic Grieve and Michael Dougan.
Previous face-to-face meetings have been addressed by Rachel Clarke, Gavin Esler, Prof Timothy Garten Ash, Prof Sarah Harper, Catherine Bearder MEP, Naomi Smith, Peter Dukes, Jon Danzig, Will Hutton, Layla Moran and Mike Galsworthy
Democracy in Danger
OfE is deeply concerned about the many threats to our democracy now going through Parliament, including the Elections Bill, the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill, the Nationality and Borders Bill and the Judicial Review and Courts Bill. These are being pushed through with very little publicity and our public representatives need to be reminded that democracy still matters. Open Democracy is campaigning on these issues. See here for further details. If you want to email your MP on the Police Bill, here is a link.
My Personal Journey while the UK left the European Union
The perspective of one of our members, Annette Shaw
Defend The Right To Protest Peacefully
The government has tabled new legislation, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which will seriously restrict our right to protest peacefully. This is still going through Parliament and action needs to be taken now to oppose it. See here for details.
And see here for an article by Oxford For Europe’s Lizzy Price and Peter Burke.
Good Law Project
We are supporting the work of Jolyon Maugham QC and his team in holding this Government to account. Details here.
European Movement Council Election
We are affiliated to a national body, the European Movement. A new council has been elected, including chair of OfE, Peter Burke. See here for details.
Read the latest from Chris Grey
Chris Grey is a distinguished blogger who has spoken to Oxford for Europe. You can read his brilliant weekly blog here:
For further information and to watch the video of his talk to us, click here:
Blue Passports and Narrowed Horizons
A Musician’s Perspective. Click here
We should campaign to preserve the right of students in UK and EU to visit other countries. See here
Letter to Labour about the emerging catastrophe of Brexit: act now!
West of England Bylines
We work closely with the online publication, West Of England Bylines. You can read it here
Labour’s Position on Brexit: An Open Letter
A letter to Keir Starmer – read it here
Socially-distanced event to support UNITE’s #GetADeal call to save BMW jobs at Cowley
A Pariah State – us?
UK Government proposing to renege on EU Withdrawal Agreement and become a Pariah State: An Open Letter from the Chair
The Russia Report
This eventually came out after a totally avoidable delay of 9 months. The Government’s attempts to say ‘nothing to see here’ are transparent and are part of a gaslighting campaign which must never succeed.
The report makes it clear that Russian interference in the UK democratic process is the ‘new normal’, and calls clearly for an investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 Referendum. Even though it finds no evidence of such a role, it roundly castigates successive Tory Governments for failing to seek one. It leaves open the question of whether the reason for this gross neglect was malice, incompetence, or both. We in Oxford For Europe, together with our sister organisations, call for urgent action so that such abuses can never happen again and so that those responsible can be held to account.
CBI calls for a no-deal Brexit to be avoided
On 18th October 2020 a joint statement was issued by the CBI and 71 trade bodies, covering the whole of British industry and agriculture, and stating that a no deal Brexit would severely damage all sectors of the economy and must be avoided. Details here.
Messages from Oxford For Europe’s Media Team:
Faces of Europe.
Cummings, Brexit and Russia
Colin Gordon, of Oxford For Europe, has written in some detail about Cummings and Russia. Follow this link.
Colin Gordon writes about the continuing role of Parliamentary Select Committees: here.
Oppose the Repeal of EU Laws Bill: https://www.europeanmovement.co.uk/saveourstandards_signup
Demand an inquiry into the impact of Brexit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/628226
Prevent Boris Johnson from having a Resignation Honours List: https://www.change.org/p/prevent-boris-johnson-from-having-a-resignation-honours-list?
Protect the right to Judicial Review (38 Degrees)
European Movement petition: Let’s move on from Frost: click here to sign.
Stop the assaults on our democratic freedoms https://www.bestforbritain.org/saveourdemocracy
If you wish to donate please