Britains and Europeans are searching for an agreement and Theresa May’s government is torn on the subject. On the other side, the opponents to Brexit campaign with inventiveness – they even have a mascot – the activist Madeleina Kay.
That day in the cold rain of London, she wasn’t wearing her “EUsupergirl” outfit. For this protest in support of the NHS, Madeleina Kay, 23 years-old, is marching in another costume; a blue striped dress in the style of a nurse. But this Leicester-born girl, still sports her favourite symbols. The flags of the UK and the EU are stitched to her apron, connected by a heart. The message on her placard is clear; “Your Choice: Brexit or the NHS, You Can’t Have Both”. Because of Brexit the number of EU nurses coming to the UK has fallen rapidly and the effect is being felt in the hospitals. “I belong to a generation that is apathetic to the political debate.” Recalled the blonde-haired activist. “We feel like we have been cheated by all the politicians.” Before the EU referendum she was not politically active, she voted Green and quietly studied Landscape Architecture. On the 24th June 2016 she felt lost, “I voted to Remain. I was shocked by the result.” Without hesitation, the daughter of university teachers, wrote a protest song and shared it on social media. Soon after, the Liberal Democrat party organised an anti-Brexit protest in Sheffield City Centre, where she performed her song. Nowadays, her campaign to Stop brexit takes up all of her time. When we meet her in the procession of the NHS march on 3rd Februrary, she was about to participate in the launch of a new political party, before going to Bath the following day to sing at another pro-EU protest – this time wearing her EUSuperGirl outfit. Madeleina loves wearing costumes. She also dresses as an anti-Brexit Pirate “Captain Saboteur”, a nurse… And has even been a Royal Mail postwoman after he collect 1000 letters last year from Remain campaigners, with messages given to the European parliament at Christmas. A few months before, in Brussels, dressed as EUSupergirl and in full view of the press cameras, she was thrown out of a post-Brexit negotiations press conference given by David Davis and Michel Barnier.
Hyperactive, the young ativist also writes and illustrates books. She sent her Satirical parody of Alice in Wonderland, “Theresa Maybe in Brexitland” to all the MPs who voted against triggering Article 50. Another work, “Alba White Wolf’s Adventures in Europe” features her immaculate Wolf-dog as the central character, in an adventure around all the EU countries. “A way of showing that the European Union reinforces the diversity and unique identity of all each member state.” In need of funding for her campaigns, her books have been published through crowdfunding. Her travel to protest across the UK are funded, in the most part by Pro EU organisations.
“The European Union is not perfect but much better than Brexit”
But what is it that motivates this European Supergirl? She has visited only 4 European countries, but believes passionately in the misdeeds of Brexit. “My generation did not vote to Leave the EU. I speak for them and the opportunities that are being taken away from us. There will be negative impacts on the economy and the environment.” The young woman has already seen the consequences of Brexit in her home city of Sheffield: The Grey to Green Scheme, an urban greening project in the city centre risks being stopped. “We were told that they don’t know where the rest of the funding is going to come from.” She continues, “The European Union needs to work on how it engages with its citizens, it’s true. The European Union might not be perfect but it is much better than Brexit.” But not everyone in the Uk shares her views. The young artist has written enough protest songs for an album, but she can’t go on tour,”In certain venues I risk being heckled.” She jokes. On the internet, the activist knows how to use the trolls to her advantage: “Sometimes I ignore them, but that’s no fun. Either I reply to annoy them, or I retweet their message with a humorous comment.” This method allowed her song “All I Want For Christmas is EU” to reach 60K views. With her child-like face, her piercings and her colourful outfits, Madeleina Kay has become a mascot. “Sometimes I am worried out being seen as a gimmick” She admits. But this does not stop her from tying to spread her message: “I have a message for Michel Barnier. Leave the door to the European Union open, my generation will bring us back!”