Europe Road, 31st January 2020

On ‘Brexit Day’, 31st January 2020, the day that the U.K. formally exited the European Union, I made a round trip to Europe Road, London.

Europe Road lies in the borough of Woolwich, located on the Greenwich Peninsula. The names of the multi-story flats, Sovereign House and the nearby Plantagenet House, allude to its royal past. Europe Road, running parallel to the River Thames, backs onto naval dockyards built by Henry VIII.


Sovereign House, Europe Road, 31 Jan 2020, Jenny Brownrigg

What was happening on this day that the U.K. took the road away from Europe? There were no parties nor Union Jacks on Europe Road. A man came out of the flats to empty his rubbish into a bin. Another was putting tools in a joinery van. A father and son fished from the docks. A plane came into land at London City airport. Ivy wrapped itself like a boa constrictor around the tree behind the community centre at the Clock House, the old Dockyard offices on Defiance Walk.


The old Dockyards behind Europe Road, 31 Jan 2020. Photo: Jenny Brownrigg

On the 31st January, a two-cannon gun battery on the nearby Thames Path at Resolution Walk, continued to defend the river and walkway from an unseen invasion.


Gun Battery, Resolution Walk, 31 Jan 2020. Photo: Jenny Brownrigg


For more in the series, ‘From Eoropie to Europe Road’, see ‘Measuring European Union subsidy in Scotland, after William Blake’s ‘Europe: A Prophecy’ (2019), Prorogation of Parliament Announced 28th August 2019, (2020) and lecture notes from ‘In or Out? How Britain Decided’, Professor John Curtice, The Stevenson Lectures in Citizenship, University of Glasgow 28.6.16.