UK not eligible to host European Capital of Culture 2023

I am disappointed for all those who have worked hard in Leeds, and the other contending towns, to hear this news.

But there is a degree of hollowness to those in the government who are claiming this is a total surprise or a vindictive move. The website for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has warned that the programme is ‘subject to the outcome of exit negotiations which have a bearing on the UK’s participation’. The criteria states that host cities must be from states which are members of EU, EFTA, EEA or candidates to become so. Of course, the UK could be in one of these categories in the future, but as this Tory government has moved to rule out any of these options for the UK, they cannot reasonably expect special exceptions. They should have informed the cities concerned as soon as they decided to leave not just the EU but the single market/EEA as well!

There is a very simple way to persuade the EU to change their minds on this, but I doubt that the government will take it. Perhaps as more and more examples of the actual impact of a hard or chaotic Tory Brexit come to light, more people may begin to change their minds.

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  1. Not surprised – things seem to be getting more and more chaotic with no progress whatsoever. Obviously the ‘leavers’ have no idea what they want or are too shamefaced to say what it is.

  2. Sad news for those progressive cities. Fortunately we are the undisputed world leaders in self-harm, so our hosting of the European Capital of Ridicule 2023 is absolutely in the bag. Our efficient government is working flat out on it, shedding London’s prestigious EMA and EBA without flinching and embracing the many more job and tax revenue sacrifices to come. Makes me so proud to be British!

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