I am writing as a volunteer from the EU flags Team who gave out flags for the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday, August 14. We gave out approximately 23,000 flags that day to Prom goers at both of the London venues (Hyde Park and Royal Albert Hall). Most people we met were genuinely supportive of our cause to protect the free movement rights of musicians post Brexit.

We and the BBC have experienced a backlash of opinion from certain quarters with accusations that we “hijacked the Last Night”. etc. Nothing is further from the truth. Nobody was forced to accept an EU flag from us. They took one (or more) because they believe in the EU and in the principles of freedom of movement and labour that it protects. Some Proms goers chose to wave their EU flags alongside the Union Flag to show that it is possible to be patriotically British while also retaining a European identity.

Whichever way you look at it, The Royal Albert Hall was a sea of blue with gold stars that night. If you use this 5,500 capacity venue as a litmus test for pro-EU support the message was clear – the UK wishes to Remain.

At approximately 6pm that night we a received a message from the musicians inside the Albert Hall thanking us for what we were doing and saying that they fully supported us. The main reason for their support is clear. At the moment musicians can travel and perform throughout the EU without any restrictions.

If we leave with “no-deal” there will be no provisions in place to continue this free movement of bands or orchestras. Instead they will be faced with border restrictions which will add additional and unnecessary costs such as work visas, insurance etc. To avoid this burden orchestras are leaving the UK and our cultural life is being diminished.

That is why we were there – to say “Thank EU for the music”.

Dr Alan White

Pole Hill Road, Chingford