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25th Oct 2018

People’s Vote campaigners are knitting anti-Brexit ‘EU poppies’ ahead of Remembrance Day

James Dawson

The blue and yellow pro-EU poppies resemble the red poppies used to remember soldiers who died at war

Pro-EU campaigners are knitting “poppies” in the image of the European Union flag in show of support for a People’s Vote ahead of Remembrance Sunday next month.

Social media users are showing off their creations, which resemble the red poppies traditionally worn in remembrance of British soldiers who died at war.

The poppy has been used as a symbol to help to remember those who fought in war since 1921, with the appeal run by the Royal British Legion. All funds raised by the appeal go towards British military veterans.

However, Chris Kendall, 49, who is half-German, half-British and contributes to an anti-Brexit podcast, first knitted a pro-EU poppy last year. He told JOE that he hadn’t worn a traditional red poppy in “several years” as the campaign had “become something [he] can’t personally support.”

“Brexit is a catastrophe pushed by nationalists using lies to cheat honest people who are justifiably angry and whose anger was misdirected at the wrong target,” he told JOE.

“I think the blue poppy makes a powerful statement but I understand that some people will take offence – while I think they’re wrong – I’m not interested in being provocative on Remembrance Day.”

Although Kendall wasn’t involved in the People’s Vote march at the weekend that saw an estimate 700,000 take to the streets of London to demand a second referendum, he said he was an active pro-Remain campaigner joining a number of past demonstrations.

Remembrance Sunday will take place on 11 November this year, seeing the Queen and leaders from across the political parties laying poppy wreathes in London, as well commemorative events across the country and a minutes silence held for soldiers who have died in past conflicts. This year also marks the centenary of the First World War armistice.

Describing what the blue EU poppy symbolised by comparison, Chris added: “For me the blue poppy is about marking Remembrance Day and the sacrifice of millions in Europe’s wars of nationalism, and the vision of the EU’s founders who saw the need to do something radical to move away from constant warfare between neighbours and towards systematic cooperation.

“Brexit would be catastrophic for the UK. I’ve been an activist all my life for the European project, I see it as a force for peace and prosperity, a magnificent liberal democratic project, I see Brexit as a monumental error that will materially harm the UK, helping to stop it will be the most important contribution I can make to society.”

Recent research has suggested that over two and a half million people have now changed their mind on whether Britain should leave the EU. It was also revealed last week that the majority of Brits believe the decision to leave was wrong in hindsight and a report released on Thursday found that all possible eventualities of leaving the European Union will result in young people losing money.