We launched Stay European in the run up to Britain leaving the EU as we knew the effects of Brexit would be disastrous on both an individual and countrywide level. 

Even though Brexit is now unfortunately a reality, we’re still here, and working harder than ever to rejoin the EU and keep the movement going to show that Britain is European. We won’t give up.

Here is a timeline of our most important initiatives and actions so far.

Currently working on

Rejoin Resources

We are busily working on ‘Rejoin Resources’, our crowdfunded mythbusting project taking on the lies that claim that rejoining the EU is not possible. This project will provide the facts to show exactly how we can rejoin, an antidote to the pessimism that tries to put obstacle after obstacle in the way. It will also include a local Rejoin groups map, calendar and more.

September 2023

National Rejoin March II

Stay European once again played a crucial role in supporting the National Rejoin March – which now plans to be an annual event until we rejoin!

Stay European supporters raised over £15,000 for the march in one amazing day, over half of the total funding for the whole demonstration and hugely important in making sure that it was able to keep going and growing for another year.

May 2023

Flying the flag at Eurovision

Liverpool gave Eurovision a heartfelt welcome – and it was just as welcoming to pro-EU campaigners who gave out tens of thousands of EU flags across the week.

Dozens of activists came together for the flags effort from groups including Stay European, the National Rejoin March, Thank EU for the Music, Liverpool for Europe and more.

Together, we also distributed 3,000 Rejoin March flyers promoting the next national demonstration in September and thousands of our Rejoin stickers, which people were literally queuing up to take!

March 2023

Day for Rejoin

Stay European was proud to be part of this day to make Rejoin voices heard far beyond the capital, taking the message out to our own communities.

The national day of action included an amazing mix of events up and down the country: from a march in Leeds to dancing in Swindon, a pub crawl in Liverpool and a European walking tour of Bournemouth.

January 2023

A majority for Rejoin

As Stay European reached its third birthday, we noted that a majority (58%) of British people now support rejoining the EU.

As our email reflected, “In 2020, we expected that there would be a long road ahead in slowly persuading Britain of the benefits of EU membership. Support for Rejoin was not a majority in polls at the time – though it was a strong base, above 40%. We simply did not expect that Rejoin would be polling an average of 58% by early 2023…

“We have always been optimists for the prospects of the UK rejoining the EU. Yet right now, the popularity of Rejoin is running ahead of even our expectations.”

April-October 2022

Mobilising for the Rejoin march

Stay European threw its resources into mobilisation for the first National Rejoin March on 22 October 2022 – finally, the beginning of the Rejoin campaign! Stay European supporters raised over £10,000 for the march crowdfunder and shared the poster on social media more than 5,000 times.

The march was a resounding success: up to 50,000 people from all corners of the country gathered to kick off the Rejoin movement. Read our report of the day here.

March 2022

Europe stands with Ukraine

Stay European organised its supporters to stand with Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, with donations to Ukraine and mobilisation for pro-Ukraine demonstrations including the major London march.

February 2022

Stay European becomes part of the National Rejoin March coalition

The National Rejoin March is the first demonstration in support of rejoining the EU. Stay European joined the organising committee and committed to building support for the march across all of our communication channels.

December 2021

Stay European shop launched

In preparation for a year of pro-EU activity ahead, we launched our shop where you can buy campaign materials, clothing and gifts. All funds raised support our campaign plans for 2022.

August 2021

Book: Routes to Rejoin

Stay European published Routes to Rejoin, our book looking at strategies for rejoining the EU. Routes to Rejoin is our effort to map out the possibilities of the next few years, and which combinations of circumstances could put Britain on the path back to EU membership. It’s not another ‘looking back’ book – it’s about where we go from here. We hope it will be a vital strategic resource for the years ahead. You can now read Routes to Rejoin in full online or download the ebook.

May 2021

Open letter for Rejoin

Our open letter in support of rejoining the EU was signed by over 25 pro-EU campaigns, 40 local groups and 30,000 individual signatories, and published in the New European newspaper. The letter aims to start breaking the public political ‘taboo’ around campaigning to rejoin – because Brexit is unworkable, and a majority in Britain are still pro-European.

Since rejoining the EU is our aim, with our assessment being that it is possible even though it is likely to be a long road, we believe pro-European campaigners need to start making the case now.

March 2021

Census 2021: Declare yourself European

The first census after Brexit took place on 21 March 2021 in England and Wales. It was the ideal opportunity to send a clear message that despite everything that’s happened over the past five years we still identify as European – and we always will.

Over the course of a month, more than 50,000 people pledged to declare their nationality as European in the census, the initiative got picked up by both national and regional newspapers through our press releases and trending hashtags on social media on the day of the census meant that the campaign was seen far and wide.

Find out more about the census campaign.

December 2020

New campaign priorities announced

As the year drew to a close it became clear that, despite the obvious need, the transition period would not be extended. But while December signalled the end of the first stage of our campaign, it was also the beginning of the next stage.

Following on from feedback from supporters via email and during the conference, we decided to refocus our campaign, with three key campaign priorities for the new year and the years to come: regain our rights, resist Brexit’s effects, and rejoin the EU. 

Our ‘regain, resist, rejoin’ agenda is designed to combine tackling the short-term problems and losses caused by Brexit with laying the groundwork for a rejoin movement.

November 2020

Stay European conference 2020

We held our inaugural conference in November 2020, via Zoom. The conference was a success with hundreds of Stay European supporters coming together to discuss a range of issues, including reforming UK democracy, supply chains and shortages, Europe and the environment, and building pro-EU resistance in 2021.

September 2020

No deal? No way!

In autumn 2020, Boris Johnson started hinting that a no-deal Brexit was coming, and even said that he could violate the EU withdrawal agreement by putting up a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This was incredibly reckless and threatened the delicate peace in Northern Ireland.

Stay European joined forces with other pro-EU groups and digital platform Ripples to mount a big campaign against the prime minister’s dangerous plans. We ran a petition which gathered 50,000 signatures, and encouraged people to write to the House of Lords and their MP to pressure them to vote down Boris Johnson’s bill.

The government was eventually forced to pull back from their plans, and although none of us are remotely happy with the Brexit deal that we now have, a no-deal Brexit would have been even worse.

August 2020

EU citizenship consultation

When the European Commission launched a public consultation on EU citizenship we took the opportunity to make our voice heard at EU level – against the removal of EU rights from British citizens, and in favour of an opt-in scheme.

We made the argument that the stripping of EU citizenship rights from British citizens – including millions who did not want to give up those rights – violates the EU’s own rules on the issue. Removing citizenship from EU citizens against their will puts all Europeans’ rights in danger.

June 2020

150,000 supporters

Just half a year after the campaign was launched, we reached the milestone of 150,000 supporters, even though at that time the coronavirus pandemic had pushed the impending Brexit to the back of the news agenda. We continued preparatory work through the summer for the end of the transition period as the next major flashpoint.

March 2020

Postcard initiative

As the UK government and the EU began their talks about the future relationship after Brexit, we thought we’d let the EU know how we, the ordinary people, really feel.

That’s why we launched our Dear Michel initiative, where we asked supporters to send postcards to Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead negotiator, asking him to take up our proposal for EU associate membership.

February 2020

Support mounts

London mayor Sadiq Khan used a trip to Brussels to support the call for associate EU citizenship for UK citizens, and met with Guy Verhofstadt who also backs the aim. Sadiq Khan said: “I am heartbroken that we are no longer a member of the European Union, but that doesn’t mean our country’s future can’t be closely linked with the rest of Europe.

“I cannot think of a better way of reconciling the differences between British voters who wanted to leave, and the millions of Londoners and British nationals who still feel and want to be European.”

January 2020

Stay European is launched

We launched our campaign at the same time as the Brexit transition period started. It was a time just after the Brexiters had won the general election, campaigns for a new referendum were admitting defeat, and resisting Brexit seemed futile to many – after all, the date for the UK leaving the EU had been set.

But despite the challenging circumstances, our campaign gained tens of thousands of supporters in the first few days alone, making it clear that people were far from happy with the future of Brexit Britain – and they were ready to make their opinions loud and clear. Our movement had begun. 

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