?> European Union – Page 2 – 48 And Beyond

February 2017

The 48 and Beyond – Join now!

By | February 25th, 2017|Updates|

A few days after the referendum in June last year, we started a group on Facebook called The 48%. The aim of the group was to give remain voters a place to discuss and debate the outcome, however, overnight the group grew by the thousands. As of today, the group sits at 56,000+ members and is still growing. The aim of the group moving forward is to create a platform for remain folk to discuss ways of retaining the UK’s position within the European Union. whether it’s comfort or advice, discussion or assistance, the group has provided all of these for months. Over the next few months, as the exit process begins, we are going to need to stick together and through doing so, we can influence and change the approach and deal we get upon our exit. Please remember to like our public Facebook page, follow us on twitter and Instagram to remain in the loop.

The group page currently promotes local groups, giving thousands of people the opportunity to join a pro-EU community near them. We don’t post these local groups on the public page but do share them in the private group. If you would like to join one of the hundreds of local groups, join the group below and just ask for help finding yours. 

Join the group: HERE

Like the page: HERE

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September 2016

Brexit and identity

By | September 27th, 2016|Updates|

“We want to be British, we don’t want to be European

This phrase was uttered by an interviewee in Jeremy Paxman’s BBC documentary about the EU which was broadcast about a month before the referendum. It has stuck with me ever since as I think it is central to understanding the outcome of the vote.

Identity is a very personal and complex issue. I personally believe that everyone should be free to choose their own identity rather than having one thrust upon them. I also think that people should be allowed to have more than one identity and not be pigeonholed because of a single defining characteristic. All of the above is perhaps unsurprising given the fact that I grew up in Northern Ireland where the issue of identity is a very thorny one, to say the least.

The Good Friday Agreement, the historic pact which secured peace in Northern Ireland in 1998, has a wonderful passage about national identity. It states:

“the people of Northern Ireland can choose to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both”

I know many Northern Irish people from both sides of the sectarian divide who indeed choose to identify themselves as both. I am one of these people and always say I have a British head but an Irish heart. This dual identity perhaps also makes Northern Irish people more willing to call themselves Europeans than our English cousins.

Another factor could be age. The person interviewed on the Paxman generation was in their 70s and had lived through the aftermath of the Second World War. This was a time when Europe was deeply divided and there was a strong suspicion of anyone of foreign extraction. Holding on to your national identity was vitally important. The younger generation live in a time of increased mobility, intercultural marriages, bilingual children, Erasmus programs and low-cost flights. All of these factors make younger people more likely to embrace their European identity.

In conclusion, we are all more than just one thing. For example, I am proud to say I am Irish, British, European, a linguist, a member of the LGBT community and, as of 25th June 2016, the founder of a wonderful pro-EU community known as “48 and Beyond.” Let’s all embrace our different identities and the potential contradictions they may cause instead of desperately clinging on to just one of them.

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