On Europe Day, Wake Up Europe teamed up with New Europeans for the first screening of The Great European Disaster Movie in the UK Parliament as part of our Day of Awakening campaign. 

Nobody knows whether the UK will stay in the European Union or what would happen to Britain or indeed to Europe were the UK to leave. 

We sat in the austere surroundings of Committee Room 12 in the Palace of Westminster, as the Thames flowed quietly past and the MPs in the neighbouring rooms went about their parliamentary business. The oak-panelled walls, grand portraits, rich fittings and chandeliers resonated with an image of Britain's role in the world in the nineteenth century.

The geographical reach of the British Empire was such that the sun never set. Of course, the sun did eventually go down on the Empire itself. Britain's role and influence in the world has changed beyond recognition since then. Sitting in these hallowed rooms it can be easy to forget that. And yet the British themselves seem so ill at ease with the UK's role in Europe - a Europe in which Britain could be taking a leading role, instead of threatening to leave.

After the screening the discussion focused on issues of power, democracy and identity. Why was it so difficult to say "I am British and I am European" in the same sentence whereas French, Germans, Italians, Poles faced no such dilemmas? Would the referendum settle the European question for the British once and for all or would there be calls for a third referendum in due course, especially if the result was a narrow one? 

We were joined by many young mobile EU citizens, in London to work and study, some of them anxious about what Brexit might mean in terms of their own future in the UK. Europe Day was a moment to reflect that the freedoms and opportunities that membership of the EU offers cannot be taken for granted. Those freedoms that are so much part of our reality today started life as the dream of a previous generation. We would not be living the European dream, if we ever lost those freedoms again. We would be living the European nightmare.  It's time to wake up Europe before it's too late to stop this happening.


From time to time we'll share exclusive interview clips (including never-seen-before footage), the most incisive blog posts and the most interesting dispatches from our event organisers as they take the europe debate to the furthest, biggest, smallest, weirdest, most unusual places around europe and beyond.

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Wake Up Europe is a campaign brought to you by the Wake Up Foundation. It was sparked by the themes explored in The Great European Disaster Movie by Annalisa Piras and Bill Emmott.

We believe in the values that inspired the European project but that this project isn't working. Europe is sleep-walking towards disaster. We must wake up Europe so that we can save Europe from itself.

This job is too important to be left to the elites, the media, the political parties alone: ordinary people must be encouraged to discuss what Europe they want to see.


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