A London council will continue to fly the European flag after Brexit in a bid to show that it remains an ‘internationalist borough’.
Hounslow Council has attracted a mix of praise and criticism following their vow to continue to fly the blue and yellow flag after Brexit day.
The leader was accused of “not listening” to voters, while others claimed that the “elected representatives no longer believe in the democracy that puts them in their position”.
But Hounslow’s decision reflects that the area voted to Remain – albeit by 51% to 49% – with council leader Steve Curran claiming the gesture shows EU citizens in the borough are still “friends, neighbours and loved ones” who are “valued members of our communities”.
He said: “Although the decision to leave the EU has been made, we know there is still a lot of uncertainty and concern among our EU citizens, their families and employers, as well as local businesses and organisations.
“Our EU citizens, many of whom work for the council and our partners such as schools, health and social care services, and the police, contribute a huge amount to the diversity and rich culture of the borough.
“They are our friends, neighbours and loved ones, and we want them to stay.
“They’ve also brought a huge amount to our local economy. Their skills, innovation and hard work has been at the heart of the fantastic business growth we’ve seen in the borough, and the jobs and opportunities that creates for residents.
“As well as the council advising and supporting them as best we can, we want to make sure they continue to feel welcome as valued members of our communities.
“We’re going to keep flying the EU flag as a symbol that we remain an internationalist borough, a gateway to London for people and business, a place which embraces diversity and which EU citizens can call home.”
The news came as Nicola Sturgeon vowed to ensure the Scottish parliament at Hollyrood continued to fly the European flag despite opposition from some MSPs.