One rule for some ey?
The EU have taken the decision that the UK is no longer eligible to continue in the 2023 race to contest a city for the title of European Capital of Culture. The last time we won was nine years ago in 2008, when Liverpool earned the title for their cultural heritage- the home of the Beatles, Cilla Black, and beautiful traditional architecture such as Albert Docks and the Royal Liver building. One can’t deny they’d earned it fair and square.
I’m not actually too bothered in all honesty about this decision, I don’t feel I need the approval of a few career politicians sitting behind their German dominated round tables in Brussels to tell me whether or not my city is of decent enough standards to be considered cultured. If like the upset Remainers you feel this is a detrimental effect of Brexit and you did desperately need this opportunity from the EU, then that probably tells you something about your own perception of culture. Just saying.
The reason I decided to write this article is because once again the EU has shown it’s true self-centred colours, further bringing to mind that popular phrase as of late: Thank goodness we’re leaving!
The EU has taken the decision that because of our approaching departure in March 2019, we’re no longer eligible for the title. Clearly they’re doing this out of spite for our decision to leave. We the UK already had an agreement with the EU that we would host the competition in 2023. UK cities that had so far announced their bid are Dundee, Nottingham, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry. These cities had already jointly pumped millions of pounds into their projects. Leeds alone have spent over £1m in the past four years – most of it from private donors.
Istanbul won the title back in 2010 and so have cities in Norway and Greenland. The argument many have given for that is that you either need to be an EU member state, a member of the EEA, or a potential candidate for EU membership- the latter kind of puts a spanner in the works of the argument by the remain campaign in 2016 that Turkey “will never be an EU member”, even Merkel herself said that. When you give them such titles it begins to look like such potential has increased doesn’t it. But I don’t deny the requirements to be in the competition are clearly written. However we still don’t know what type of trading deal we’ll have after Brexit, I hope we don’t remain in the single market, customs union, or any form of the EEA, but due to the fact the potential is there then our competition eligibility is as well. After all, Juncker himself said we can still “reverse Brexit”, therefore we’ve the potential to still be members as well in his eyes. Or perhaps the EU know that once they take a ridiculous amount of our money being fronted by the Prime Minister they’re just going to deny us chance to move on to trade talks anyway. Proof that it’s time to walk away from these spiteful people with some pride while we can.
Even with all that said, the EU have been saying since we voted to take back our sovereignty that we are still “obliged to meet our obligations” to them up until 2019 as if we were still a member state. But by that logic they must meet the obligations they arranged with us and that is that we were to host the City Culture Competition in 2023. Even as a Brexiteer, one saying I’ve always supported and think all Britons should as well regardless of how you voted is: We are leaving the EU but we are NOT leaving Europe, the tectonic plates won’t magically shift on the 29th March 2019. I’d be happy for the UK to work together with our European neighbours post-Brexit but it would seem they’d rather cut off their nose to spite their face. I only wanted out of the political institutions intent on forming a Superstate. If the EU wish to punish us for it when we’ve been more than reasonable then it proves all of our points in the campaign leading up to the referendum and that we made the right decision after all.