Keeping Europe together after Brexit

11 February 2021

Amsterdam surpassed London as Europe’s largest share trading centre in January, as figures published this Thursday show. “Brexit crowns Amsterdam,” reads one headline, “ousting The City,” London.

At the same time, the UK is beating the EU on Covid vaccination, making the European Commission’s president Ursula von der Leyen speak about a “speedboat” compared to the “tanker” EU.

While the results of Brexit, the UK’s exit from the EU, are counted in gains and losses, city leaders in Europe look for common ground for future cooperation.

“Our country might have left the European Union – but we are certainly not leaving Europe,” mayors from member cities of the network Eurocities state in a joint video message. “As cities, we stay connected with our partners all over the continent.”

“Brexit or not – we’re still in”

Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence and president of Eurocities, confirms: “Birmingham was one of the six founding members of Eurocities in 1986. Since the very beginning, British cities have been an active and important part of our network. And even after Brexit it remains true: we will keep our British friends in our European family.”

“City to city collaboration has never been more important than now,” the British mayors say in their joint statement. “We need to overcome the impacts of the corona pandemic and address global challenges like climate change together.” And: “As part of the network Eurocities, we remain European: Brexit or not – we’re still in.”

17 British cities belong to Eurocities: Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derry-Strabane, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle-Gateshead, Sheffield, Sunderland and Wolverhampton.

Following a referendum in the UK in 2016, the country’s withdrawal from the European Union became fully operational on 1 January 2021.

Photo by Habib Ayoade on Unsplash