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12 March 2021
HOPE IN A NEVER-ENDING SHADE: BRITISH CITIZENS WELCOME BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION DEFENCE OF TRUTH
British citizens from 94 civil society groups around the UK have written to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, welcoming the stance of the Biden-Harris Administration to uphold democratic values and defend the truth. America’s ability to turn the corner on the Trump era and uphold rule of law in the face of insurrection, serves as inspiration for Britain: “You have given us hope at a dark time in our own history, ” the letter said.
“What particularly resonated for us here in the UK was your commitment to defending the truth and defeating the lies, your promise to uphold decency and dignity, to be a positive role model and make America a beacon to the world. We watched with admiration and longing as these are all the things we wish to see here in the UK.”
The British citizens call on the Administration to help safeguard the Good Friday Agreement and maintain security in Northern Ireland, and welcome Washington’s signals that Britain should stay close to Europe.
Commenting on the shared threat of Trumpism and Brexit, the letter notes that “frightening echoes” of the Trump legacy live on in Britain, exposing us to influence from Russia, and putting at risk 70 years of peace.
“As British grassroots campaigners, we have always seen Brexit for what it is: a destructive force causing economic damage and social division, that will make us weaker and poorer, economically and culturally. Recent threats to the Northern Ireland Protocol illustrate the risks that Brexit poses to the Good Friday Agreement. The checks and balances that sustained our democracy are being systematically dismantled.”
It ended with: “The hope expressed in your speech was beautifully echoed in the moving poem by Amanda Gorman. We wish that we too can find light in this never-ending shade and discover we are unfinished rather than broken. We too desire to be a country committed to all cultures, colours, characters and conditions of man. We extend our heartfelt condolences to all the hundreds of thousands of your citizens who have lost loved ones in the pandemic. We wish you strength and courage to face the many challenges ahead”.
The letter was initiated by Grassroots for Europe, a network of civil society groups in towns and cities around the UK, and British citizens abroad, who are working to rebuild Britain’s relationships with Europe, the US, and the rest of the world. It echoes the spirit of a letter written 160 years ago in support of the abolition of slavery, by the cotton mill workers of Manchester to President Abraham Lincoln.
In particular, the letter:
Applauds the Biden-Harris Administration’s forward-thinking global leadership.
Welcomes the positive signals from the Administration that the Good Friday Agreement must be respected, and that Britain should stay close to Europe.
Expresses concerns about a brand of populism in Britain that is re-running the Trump playbook, with consequent damage to the British economy and our society.
Sees hope that America will encourage a positive shift in Britain to a more internationalist outlook and less antagonism with its European neighbours and allies.
Outlines the British citizens’ own commitment to re-build a constructive relationship with the United States, as well as with Europe.
Richard Wilson, Chair of Grassroots for Europe, said: “One of the ironies of Brexit is that campaigning against it has created in Britain probably the greatest, strongest pro-European movement anywhere. Now that Brexit has happened, we are deeply concerned by the sight of myriad businesses losing trade, and opportunities being stolen from people of all ages through the rupture of our European relationship.
“America has successfully turned the page on a grim chapter in its political history and we want Britain to do this, too. The Trump playbook is creating a poisonous political atmosphere that is not what we want in Britain. We, too, need to defeat the lies and defend the truth.
“With America firmly back on the world stage, we believe it is time for the British government to turn away from the populist ideology that has driven Brexit and to work with the US towards a better outcome for both of our countries”.
Ninety-four Grassroots for Europe groups signed the letter. Further details about Grassroots for Europe can be found at grassrootsforeurope.org.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Grassroots for Europe is a network of over 200 internationalist civil society groups in towns and cities around the UK, and British citizens abroad, who are working to rebuild Britain’s relationships with Europe, the US and the rest of the world.
Richard Wilson Chair – Grassroots for Europe 07807 183 244 firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanne Callaghan Chair – Weaver Vale for Europe 07766 238897 email@example.com
Weaver Vale for EU is a cross party group of individuals. We welcome pro-Europeans from the Conservatives, Greens, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and SNP as well as people unaffiliated to a political party.
From 1st January 2021, most of this has funding ceased.