I am European

Since last Friday, I have been thinking about all sorts of clever things to write about history and Europe, and my despair at the referendum result here in the UK.

But I can’t even get them out. I am numbed, intellectually.

I am not a constitutional lawyer, nor an economist, nor even a historian of migration, or trade, or ‘European culture’ really. Right now, I have no specialist knowledge to add.

All I will do is repost the statement drafted with my colleagues here at the University of Bristol:

Dear all,

Thursday’s vote on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union was a momentous decision for the future of this country.

As members of a university, we are all particularly affected. Many of us who work together in the School come from EU member states, from students, to lecturers, cleaners, porters, professors, and administrators. We are incredibly fortunate to benefit from the skills, ideas, and experience of people from France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, the Netherlands, and Greece among many others. Those of us who come from these places face an uncertain future until our rights are assured.

We believe in a culture of ideas which relies on international cooperation and transcends borders. The vote to leave the European Union snaps many ties that have bound us together tightly and would be painful to sever: those of us who are EU citizens have travelled and lived across member states, and we have all forged important and meaningful relationships with people from all over the continent. For many of us this is a vote which not only challenges the material basis of our profession, but also has profound personal implications. Moveover, we are all concerned for what this might mean for those who come after us–for our students who might be denied the same rights many of us have had to live, travel, and learn together in Europe.

Currently we do not know what lies ahead. But in coming weeks and months it is important that all of us, from different parts of the School and differing nationalities, pull together and ensure that our community remains a place of of solidarity and internationalism.


Erika Hanna, Will Pooley, Richard Stone, John Reeks, Emily Baughan, James Freeman, Grace Huxford, Julio Decker, Evan Jones, Beth Williamson, Josie McLellan, Andy Flack, Kenneth Austin, Hilary Carey, James Thompson, Sebastiaan Verweij, Madhu Krishnan, Rosanne Jacks, Ian Burrows, Clare Copley, Helen Fulton, John McTague, Victoria Bates, Benjamin Pohl, Grace Brockington, Robert Bickers, Simon Potter, Marianna Dudley, Su Lin Lewis, Dorothy Price, Peter Coates, Rob Skinner, Hugh Pemberton

4 thoughts on “I am European

  1. This is a moving testimony to how so many of us feel right now and to the personal and cultural exchanges that have enriched our lives as Europeans and citizens of the world. We are all devastated but thank you for putting our feelings into words.

    Liked by 1 person

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