The ‘Union Jack issue’ and my time as an MEP

In a final blog post as an MEP for UK in a Changing Europe, Claire discussed her changing attitude to the Union Jack – and the hatred of nationalism and nationalist symbols within the EU.

“I am not your average Union Jack waver: raised in Wales, second generation Irish, politically anti-imperialist. It has taken some doing, but it has been the EU that has taught me that the flag is a symbol of something worth defending.”

She goes on to note: “Two French MEPs seemed startled that my commitment to national sovereignty does not centre on love of country at the expense of other countries, but rather is due to my belief in the nation as the site of democracy. I talked about the historic progressive aspiration to create democratic nation states as political communities, that allowed citizens within a geographically-bordered area to determine decision-making.

“Ironically, I was drawing on French philosophers such as Rousseau, for whom a democratic nation state was the best vehicle for guaranteeing the rights of a citizens. Popular sovereignty, via national self-determination was seen as the most effective way of allowing citizens autonomy and equality.”

Read the full article here.