Our region is your region – Brittany president

The president of the regional council of Brittany, Loïg Chesnais-Girard, regrets Brexit but in this message to Britons in the region today he would rather think positively about the friendship that will endure.

31 January 2020
By Loïg Chesnais-Girard

Brexit is not just one more date in my diary, but as a fervent European, it is a regret deeply tainted by a feeling of waste.

At midnight tonight, January 31, 2020, after nearly fifty years, we, Britons and Europeans will collectively turn the page, but it is not the end of our shared history.

Brexit is a long process which started with a democratic decision and must go forward with consultation, discussion and mutual respect.

We must not focus on January 31, as February 1 is the day when everything will start again, when we must rewrite and reinvent everything.

 I would like to say to the around 12,000 British residents in Brittany that our region is also your region.

Over the last few decades we have been together as citizens of the same Europe with a common history.

Here, you have never ceased to be our friends. With you, we have forged special links.

You are residents, bi-nationals, entrepreneurs, involved in community projects and politics in Brittany.

As the technical negotiations start at the very highest level, where everyone will defend their legitimate interests, we think of you who bring so much to our territory and enrich our daily life.

It is why, preserving the rights of citizens of Europeans in the United Kingdom and of the British in Europe, is primordial.

I am determined to be vigilant over the potential changes to come, during the transition period and after December 31, 2020.

On this day, it is not the quarrels and the bitterness of yesterday’s discussions that I wish to dwell on, but the elements which link us together and which are lasting, beyond any political process.

It is up to us to continue to live together as we do today and to speak together of this wonderful Bretagne that we share [the region’s French name is also part of the French name for Great Britain, due to historic Celtic links].

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