1 Feb: An Evening With Sean Dromgoole

1 Feb: An Evening With Sean Dromgoole

Somerset Loves Europe had An evening with Sean Dromgoole on Monday 1 February.

An important and complex part of the whole Brexit story has been the way that the Labour Party has responded to it. This continues, with Keir Starmer needing to consider whether to accept the way that Brexit is going or to directly oppose it.

To help us to understand this, we were very pleased to have the copany and wisdom Sean Dromgoole, Chair of Labour Somerton and Frome CLP, and Labour prospective parliametary candidate for Somerton and Frome. Sean was born in Bristol and grew up near Wells. More at https://somersetlabour.co.uk/candidates/sean-dromgoole/. As part of his work in market research for the media industry, Sean has direct experience of working for the European Commission, and he was also be able to give us his insights from that.

We are very grateful to Sean for his time.

The Twitter live feed of the event ran as follows:

Sean Dromgoole is Chair of CLP Somerton and Frome
Sean joins as talk of West Country Bylines commending article about David Warburton

Introductions by Matt Geen
Sean pleased to become acquainted with pro EU group.
Somerset born and bred

Love affair with France began at age 6-7 on a family holiday and broken down Rover in a small village: amazing food + great play mates. School exchanges rendered Europe ordinary.

Then making a film -with Anthony Hopkins in France. Sean became the go-between both languages. France became a place where he could earn a living.

Onto working in Paris for the European Commission to attempt to redress the balance with a largely American film market. 20/25 years ago he was working to promote European writing – with EC funding

5 years of fun funding productions around Europe with some success -with a fraction of US funding
Big conference in Ireland to promote European film industry

French CNC against idea of English based initiative in France – they should be doing it. Sean insisted on addressing the big meeting in France in not very good French but it got them on side

However Sean found himself getting jaded so…he moved on and set up his own film company > moving into research > computer games
dustry > Nintendo and European slant and languages

Last few years running European businesses.
Now however, much more difficult to work across Europe.
Enjoyed + made full use of membership of European community.

Sean opened it out for group discussion:
Damage to businesses especially small enterprises. The cost of duty on goods coming into UK has already decimated trade. Tragic.
We need to target returning to single market -but over time- meanwhile we have to live with it.

Richard Wilkins – how do you see the way forward?
Another referendum – No! Distrust of referendums – brings laughter.
We have to accept market rules. Can’t pick and choose – up against negativity.
Hitler did 4 referendums

Adam Boyden
Should Labour have a long term aim to rejoin?
Should it be more decisive?
Sean: Not unless we have to…Starmer not likely to change Labour stance
Norway style in a few years – probably majority in favour

Adam Boyden
Musicians, Meat exports – is life going to get very bad + will that change public opinion?
Lack of choice, holidays, £ likely to fall making hols dearer. This will build slowly. Not short of food nor medicines. Jobs will disappear

Sam Geen
What internal feelings of Lab Party re EU + Brexit as well as Starmer’s equivocation + wanting to look forward rather than backward + because more important things need attention. Govt have taken over items from Lab manifesto. All Remainers but not engaging *yet*

Tim Knowles
As an economist:
Exporting so difficult – chance of Sterling crash?
Other countries also have huge deficits + borrowing too much US economy in bad state. But who needs £s? € is stronger

Aaron Carriciolo
Why did we leave the EU?
Threat from Ukip. Cameron promised it. Do it our way or you’re being very stupid – bad idea. At which point. The chief Brexiters moved in.

Before Lab can move closer to EU does Sean think they need to address north/ south divide?
Agrees – like taking Scotland for granted. Reflects poorly – need people like John Prescott involved. Value led policies. National v local village perspective. Good number of seats

But not a majority so that intelligent politicians work together on prioritised legislation together.

Matt sums up referring to Somerset Loves Europe
– ready for campaigning for PR
West Country Bylines for news with a West Country focus as well as National issues affecting us
Sean thanks us and will happily promote the group.
Thank you Sean Dromgoole – interesting evening



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