Wednesday

26th Sep 2018

Interview

Brexit can be reversed, says 'Superwoman'

  • 'What I do is trying to get public attention and support for our campaign because we can't stop Brexit without public support for it,' Kay said (Photo: Eric Maurice)

"I've said it once and I will say it again, There is no, there is no Brexit dividend."

Sung to the tune of an acoustic guitar, the statement resonated in the Brussels EU quarter on Tuesday (26 June), during a visit of anti-Brexit Madeleina Kay to the EU capital.

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The young woman first sprung to prominence last October when she was expelled from the European Commission press room ahead of a press conference by the EU and UK negotiators Michel Barnier and David Davis.

Dressed as a UK-EU Superwoman, she has been on a mission, in the media, on social media as well as in events and protests across Britain and the EU.

"The main thing at the moment is to try to stop Brexit," she told EUobserver in an interview, wearing a red cape and a "Bollocks to Brexit" sticker on her shoulder.

"What I do is trying to get public attention and support for our campaign because we can't stop Brexit without public support for it," she explained.

Kay argued that two years after the vote to leave the EU, a "lot of people don't know what's going on and don't really care either."

"I want to make political debate more interesting, and more fun, and more exciting, and inspire them to join us," she said about her outfit and stunts.

"I have yet to hear a benefit of Brexit. There is no 'Brexit dividend'," she said, echoing her protest song.

Last Sunday, Kay took part in a demonstration that gathered an estimated 100,000 people in London to demand a second vote on Brexit.

The 2016 referendum "was won by such a small majority that it can easily swing back enough in our favour," she said, insisting that "polls have shown it has already swung back."

The activist rejected Brexiteers' arguments that leaving the EU was the will of the British people and should not be reversed.

"Democracy is not something that happens at fixed time, it's an ongoing process," she argued, pointing out that the Brexit vote was "based on conjecture, misinformation and outright lies."

"What we are demanding is a vote on the facts when we have a deal," she said, adding that stopping Brexit without a second vote would also be "undemocratic".

"When you have new information you make a new choice, you make an informed choice. That's what democracy is about."

Kay noted that her anti-Brexit campaign was complementary to movements like Best for Britain or Open Britain, but that to succeed, all would also need "mutineers, saboteurs or whoever they are called" within the ruling Conservative party, because debates in the parliament and with Theresa May's government are "all about who has the final say."

Kay was in Brussels to participate in a debate on EU media, organised to present a survey on "who influences the influencers", and to hold some meetings.

Despite coming to the EU capital to make her case, Kay insisted that "it's not up to the EU to stop Brexit."

But she expressed hope that the EU, through the negotiations, would help Brexiteers change their mind.

"Brexiteers are acting like they can have whatever they want, they don't seem to realise we are negotiating with 27 other countries that have their interests to protect," she said.

The day the UK officially leaves the EU, 29 March 2019, will be Kay's birthday. What she will do apart from blowing candles "will depends on what happens with Brexit."

But either way, she said, "we'll have a big pro-EU demonstration."

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Norway-EU relations highlight UK's Brexit dilemma

When UK premier Theresa May meets Norway's Erna Solberg in London on Wednesday, they my find that they have a lot in common, including managing difficult in-and-out relations to the European Union.

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