Virtual meeting jointly hosted by Oxford For Europe and Grassroots For Europe
Tuesday 27th July 2021
With Lord Andrew Adonis, Chair of European Movement UK
Andrew Adonis was discussing his vision for the future of relations with the EU, and answering questions from attendees. This was an opportunity for members and supporters to learn more about the European Movement UK, its activities and its aspirations.
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Andrew Adonis decisively won election in March to the chair of the European movement with a strong, grassroots-driven agenda to campaign for the complete reversal of Brexit in the earliest practical timescale. The EM is now engaged in an effort to massively expand its membership base for the extended nationwide campaign that is going to be required.
Andrew Adonis was born in England of Greek Cypriot ancestry. He began his career as an academic at Oxford University (BA Keble, Doctorate Christ Church), before becoming a journalist at the Financial Times and later The Observer. He was appointed by Prime Minister Tony Blair to be an advisor at the Number 10 Policy Unit, specialising in constitutional and educational policy, in 1998. He was later promoted to become the Head of the Policy Unit from 2001 until being created a life peer in 2005, when he was appointed Minister of State for Education in HM Government. He remained in that role when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in 2007, before becoming Minister of State for Transport in 2008. In 2009, he was promoted to the Cabinet as Transport Secretary, a position he held until 2010. He was Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission from 2015 to 2017 under David Cameron.
Adonis has worked for a number of think tanks, is a board member of Policy Network and is the author or co-author of several books, including several studies of the British class system, the rise and fall of the Community Charge, and the Victorian House of Lords. He has also co-edited a collection of essays on Roy Jenkins. His latest book, Ernest Bevin: Labour’s Churchill, is a biography of the Labour politician Ernest Bevin whom, alongside Tony Blair, Adonis regards as a source of inspiration for the modern Labour Party.
He is currently also a columnist for The New European.
Adonis has long been a strong supporter and advocate of the European Union and a vocal opponent of Brexit. Following the 2016 referendum on UK membership of the European Union, he then became a key campaigner for a second referendum on British departure from the EU. Latterly, Adonis has argued in favour of rejoining the EU and adopting the Euro as the UK currency, adding, “Next time we can’t be half in, half out.”
Chair: Susan Hartman
Q&A: Peter Burke