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Bremain in Spain Marks the Anniversary of Brexit Referendum  

2017-06-22
British citizens in Spain a year on from this life-changing event


June 22, 2017, Valencia, Spain. Press Dispensary. The traditional Spanish festival of 'San Juan', celebrated annually on June 23, is a joyous event with colourful town fiestas taking place to celebrate the summer solstice. However, the significance of this date changed for British citizens in Spain on the night of June 23, 2016 - perhaps forever - when the result of the Brexit referendum threw the lives of hundreds of thousands into confusion and chaos. So how do Members of Bremain in Spain ( http://www.bremaininspain.com ), a group campaigning for the rights of British citizens in Spain, feel about the anniversary of San Juan and what are they doing to observe it?

Sue Wilson, Chair of Bremain in Spain, says: "San Juan has always been one of my favourite Spanish fiestas - a celebration of summer, renewal and of hope. This year, it will be tinged with sadness and anger at the nonsense that is Brexit but also with determination that we must never give up this fight. The fiestas seemed like a fitting anniversary for that fateful day when my world changed forever, and an opportunity to dispose of unwanted baggage, as is the San Juan custom."

She adds: "Many people throughout the UK and Europe will be commemorating June 23 in their own way. For us, it's an opportunity to demonstrate that we're not playing golf, bowls or bridge, or whiling away hours in English bars festooned with Union Jacks. Instead, we'll be celebrating with the Spanish, as we do every year, and enjoying being treated like family by our wonderful neighbours. I only hope that EU citizens in the UK have as much love and support surrounding them."

Jo Chipchase, a Bremain in Spain member from Granada, said: "The fiesta of San Juan on June 23 is usually my favourite day of the whole year. However, in 2016, it was the worst day of the year. I returned home from the town fiesta to view the referendum results on the internet. I sat up all night and became increasingly despondent. I won't forget that night. This year, I will be taking photos of the traditional festival in our town and will be surrounded by Spanish people. I remain hopeful that the UK electorate will realise that Brexit isn't a good idea."

Valerie Chaplin, a Bremain member from La Rabita, Granada, echoes these sentiments: "We are still living in the same nightmare. On San Juan 2016 I watched TV after returning from celebrating the fiesta and felt sick as the results emerged. This year we are joining together with our Spanish and British friends to celebrate San Juan, with heavy hearts, still having no clue to what our future holds even though the negotiations have started."

Bremain member, Linda Rae, concurs: "I feel angry and sad for all those people who voted to Leave and were lied to, because they will not get the opportunity to make it right. This year, I will celebrate this San Juan with the inclusive people of Spain."

Mike Zollo adds: "I am angry and feel that I am losing something dear to my heart that was the rationale for my 40-plus years of teaching European languages and culture. The Referendum result is still one of the first things on my mind when I wake up in the morning, and which has left me with a permanent feeling of malaise and injustice."

Jane Machin concludes: "I wish the press would stop saying that the Remainers are reconciled to Brexit. We are not. All the polls I've seen have pointed the other way! It's a total mess in my opinion."

From the evening of June 23, Bremain in Spain members will upload photos of how they are enjoying a traditional San Juan with Spanish friends: i.e. the EU citizens with whom they share their lives and whom have been kind enough to make British residents feel welcome. Photos of the Referendum anniversary activities will appear on www.bremaininspain.com and print-quality images will later appear on our Media Library at https://pressdispensary.co.uk/image_library/q991924.html

Ends

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Notes for editors
Bremain in Spain is a group campaigning for the UK to remain in the European Union and to protect the rights of British migrants living and working in Spain. Run by a team of volunteers and chaired by Sue Wilson - a resident of the Valencian Community - the group advocates a tolerant and outward-looking society. It believes this is best achieved by the UK remaining a member of the EU and citizens retaining freedom of movement. Bremain in Spain is actively campaigning for various initiatives. During January 2017, Sue Wilson appeared in front of the Parliamentary Select Committee for Exiting the European Union at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, to present evidence about the concerns of UK citizens living in Spain. Representatives from Bremain in Spain were recently part of a delegation to the British Embassy in Madrid, where they met the British Ambassador and the Department for Exiting the European Union. Bremain in Spain is supporting the Choose Freedom citizens’ initiative to issue EU passports to those affected by Brexit. The group makes frequent appearances in the media in the UK, Spain and other interested countries.  Bremain in Spain is part of the British in Europe coalition of 11 UK citizens’ groups across the EU. It is also affiliated to Britain for Europe and European Movement.

For further information please contact
Sue Wilson, Chair
Bremain in Spain
Email:
Jo Chipchase
Press Officer
Email:
Tel: + 34 696 056 328

Alastair Stewart
Deputy Press Officer
Email:
Tel: + 44 7549 504281

Site: www.bremaininspain.com
Facebook: Bremain in Spain
Twitter: @BremainInSpain

Media contacts

Sue Wilson, Chair
Email:
Jo Chipchase
Press Officer
Email:
Tel: + 34 696 056 328

Alastair Stewart
Deputy Press Officer
Email:
Tel: + 44 7549 504281

Site: www.bremaininspain.com
Facebook: Bremain in Spain
Twitter: @BremainInSpain

Keywords/tags
brexit eu referendum bremain in spain sue wilson brits in spain expats british citizens in eu freedom of movement midsummer solstice san juan spain european culture

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