EU kicks Britain out of City of Culture

The European Commission today annulled the UK’s bids to host the European Capital of Culture after 2019, when Britain leaves the EU.

Several UK cities that were bidding for 2023 have voiced outrage and dismay. So did a Government minister. But what did anyone expect when they voted for Brexit?


share this

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
  • Since when does the EU decide what is European? That is absurd.

    However, a few baubles here and there mean nothing.

    The thing that stinks to high heaven is the whole extortion racket which we are escaping. Rejoice!

    • The EU decides what is European in this context as it is the body awarding funding and support for this project. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

    • DESR: The day is approaching, too slowly for You perhaps but approaching all the same, when you’ll have escaped the Whole Extortion Racket, taken your country back, slammed the great door shut never mind the toes & fingers, purified the Proms &c. &c.

      At last you’ll have what you deserve. I wish you the joy of it.

  • One MP stated ‘we are not turning our backs on Europe, yet this looks like they are turning their backs on us’

    If leaving the EU is not ‘turning our backs on Europe’ I really don’t know what is.

  • Us British people don’t need no “European Culture.” We got Gilbert and Sullivan, and “Land of Hope and Glory” OK? That’s enough.

  • As a resident of Leeds (one of the UK bidding cities) I was always slightly puzzled as to how we could be bidding, so I am not surprised. However, I am also not bothered.

    Whatever one’s opinion on Brexit, no city needs an official recognition from the EU of its cultural status. For those reading this blog – especially from outside the UK – who may be unfamiliar with the city, we have an opera company that punches way above its weight, one of the world’s leading piano competitions, a fine theatre complex,a strong jazz and rock scene, and in the visual arts we – with our neighbours in Wakefield – are part of a world-leading centre of excellence in sculpture. Oh, and a film festival, a Lieder festival, music college…

    Somehow I think we will survive without official approbation from the EU.

  • And don’t leave out planet earth’s A#1 slapstick political comedy act, new installments daily, run out of a modest-looking townhouse in the tourist district, 10 Downing Street. Almost 18 months and going stronger than ever. You are too modest Graeme Hall.

        • I failed to realize that you were bigging up your city only, I fired too soon.

          I was Wrong.

          But my remark is still related to the spirit of your post, in the way of adding to claims of stand-alone English greatness, or goodness, or adequacy…

          • Ready, Fire, AIM…should be the rallying cry for globalists / big govt fans in general.
            Anyway, sorry the Belgian bureaucrats took away an important cultural opportunity. Guess you Brits will need to go ahead and cancel Christmas this year, too.

          • My comment had absolutely nothing to do with any idea of “stand-alone English greatness.” I was merely pointing out any city’s cultural pedigree (whether in the UK or elsewhere) has nothing to do with the opinion of an EU bureaucrat. That’s all.

  • “Several UK cities that were bidding for 2023 have voiced outrage and dismay. So did a Government minister. But what did anyone expect when they voted for Brexit?”

    I imagine the people who wanted to host a European culture event weren’t the ones voting for Brexit.

    • I don’t expect that those who voted Leave (many of them the most civic minded in society, and the keenest supporters of the arts around the country) expected the EU to insist on such a narrow minded definition of culture, well beyond its already expansive remit.

      Another useful reminder of what we are escaping. Orwellian!

      • I don’t think the people who voted “leave” cared about culture either way.

        They probably read this headline and think, “good riddance!”

  • Cities in Iceland, Norway and Turkey have all had been European Capitals of Culture – none of them in the EU. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the EU was perfectly able to rationalise those decisions when it chose to. In this case, it’s chosen not to.

    I wish I was surprised by this but the vindictive tone of so much that’s coming out of Brussels – no sense of shame or regret that a member nation was ever allowed to get to the point where so many voters lost faith in the EU; no serious attempt to win the UK back (when there’s still every possibility of shifting public opinion decisively) with reason or affection rather than threats; and an apparent determination (in spite of all its lofty ideals) to make future relations between the EU and UK more difficult than is either desirable or necessary, on either side – makes this “Remain” voter seriously wonder how he’d vote if it came to a second referendum.

    Well, not really; it’d still be “remain”. But the leap of imagination required to bridge the credibility gap between the pan-European ideals I believe in and the small-minded, power-hungry and callous institutions that claim to embody it will be larger than ever.

    • City of Culture has always been open to:
      – EU member states
      – Members of the European Economic Area
      – EU applicant countries.

      The UK will be none of these in 2023, so it seems reasonable that we can’t apply to ve a city of culture that year. I don’t see this as vindictive, but common sense.

    • Perhaps the departure of several countries would bring it down, and something more reasonable, and far less full of itself, would arise in its place?

      It has been pointed out many times that the EU is just a bloated bureaucracy. It is not “Europe”, in spite of what it and many of its supporters might like to think.

  • Given all these opinion clashes around brexit, it would be best to cut-up the UK in the parts who want to remain and parts who want to get out, and create bilateral agreements between the exiting parts and the remaining parts. London as an independent EU member, like Vatican City, seems a very workable option. Problem will be the Queen’s accomodation; maybe the family could distribute royal patronage among the members who then would move out to the parts concerned. For culture, it would be beneficiant: remaining parts would be funded with the same budget so there will be much more for the institutions in the remaining areas, and the EU parts will get generous funding from the EU (who will have a stake in keeping them on board), so everybody wins, culturally speaking. and competition between the different parts may stimulate quality improvement.

  • >