Posted on 26/03/2021Comments Off on MARTIN CLAYTON

When did you first attend the SODEM protest outside Parliament and why did you come? 

I first attended SODEM in April 2019 with North Yorkshire for Europe. It was a combined Musical Monday and SODEM event. 

Roughly how old are you?

Well my birth certificate would have me believe that I’m 50 years old, as it says I was born in 1971 but I dispute this. Where have my 30s and 40s gone?  

How frequently did you come and when was the last time you attended?

Sadly due to work I was only able to attend SODEM twice and the last was NY4EUs final Musical Monday in May of 2019. Although I was able to attend the mass protests in July and October of that year with Tees and NE4EU. 

How far from Westminster do you live and what was your travelling time?

According to Google maps Westminster is 218 miles away. It’s a 6 hour journey on a Coach anyway. 

What’s your favourite memory?

My favourite memory? Hmm. Too many to mention really. I’m just glad I met so many wonderful people from all over the country. We all sang songs with Pro EU lyrics and I apologise for the distress my singing voice must have cause people but it was damn good fun. Just a pity we needed to do it though. 

Tell me your story

My Story. Hmm. Not sure what to put here. Well here goes…

Born in Middlesbrough in 1971 and grew up in a Eurosceptic family. I followed their belief for years until one day around 2000 when I was chatting about things with some people I knew. The subject of Europe came up and I mentioned that if I was Prime Minister I’d take the UK out of the EU immediately. One chap said something that stayed with me and was the seed that would eventually grow and completely change my mind. 

He said “Why do you want to leave a political and Trading Cartel with enormous clout that is right on your doorstep”?  

I hadn’t thought of the EU in that way before and it got me thinking about the EU in a while different light. Over a period of about a year at a guess I went from being a leaver to a what would become known many years later as a Remainer. 

I’ve argued the case for our membership with friends and family before the referendum in 2016 and still do. It just took someone 20 or so years ago to say something simple and it made me re-think. Others have tried to bring me back to the Brexit side, but the EU is still there, it’s this all-powerful cartel able to stand up to countries like America, Russia, China in ways that little Britain can only really dream about. 

On a slightly different subject but still relevant, I am politically left wing and have always been a supporter of the Trade Union Movement. I don’t see and contradiction in my support for the Trade Union Movement with my support for the European Union. Together we achieve far more than we do as individuals and although that might be a slogan, every word of that is true. We DO get better and more if we work together. 

That’s what the EU does and that’s what it means to me. 27 countries working for their common good, to keep peace and to promote economic prosperity. So why not make it 28, eh?

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