Bristol

Brexit: Departing MEPs leave their mark on art project

Gina Dowding Image copyright Elaine Robinson
Image caption Green MEP for the north west of England Gina Dowding places her fingerprint on the canvas as part of Bristol artist Elaine Robinson's art project

An artist has enlisted the help of British MEPs in Brussels to help her create a piece of artwork marking the UK's departure from the European Union.

MEPs who had made their mark on the European Parliament added their fingerprints to a canvas before departing Brussels.

Elaine Robinson, from Bristol, created a similar piece at the Houses of Parliament last year.

British MEPs left their roles at 23:00 GMT on Friday, 31 January.

Image copyright Elaine Robinson
Image caption Scores of coloured fingerprints make up the artwork

Gina Dowding was one of those to add her fingerprint to the artwork.

"This is a very sad day but we have to look forward and make the best of what we have. We have to take all the positive communication back to the UK," said the Green MEP for the north west of England.

"We have to keep talking about a new beginning and strengthen links; it isn't the end.

"It will be different, sometimes difficult and hard, but it is very important to tackle the big issues that are present in our time."

Image copyright Elaine Robinson
Image caption Majid Majid chose to use his knuckles rather than his fingerprint

Former Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid, the Green MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, had made an impression when he arrived for his first day at the European Parliament wearing a baseball cap and a T-shirt bearing an anti-fascist slogan.

He decided to use his knuckles rather than a fingerprint to make his mark on the last day.

"I feel weird being asked for my fingerprint. It feels a little inappropriate. This art it has to be real," he said.

Image copyright Elaine Robinson
Image caption Naomi Long wanted to reinforce a message of togetherness

Northern Irish politician Naomi Long is Minister of Justice in the Northern Ireland Executive and has been leader of the Alliance Party since 2016.

"This is an historic day for Britain.

"I guess for me it's important to reinforce and underline the idea we are all together, and to look forward as Justice Minister," she said.

Image copyright Elaine Robinson
Image caption Didier Reynders said he was saddened by Britain's decision to leave the EU

Didier Reynders, a Belgian politician and a member of the Mouvement Réformateur, currently serves as European Commissioner for Justice.

Adding his thumbprint he said: "I feel very sad - it would have been better for the UK to remain."

Image copyright Elaine Robinson
Image caption Ann Widdecombe has been of the Brexit Party's most prominent MEPs since her election last year

Former Conservative MP, turned Brexit Party MEP, Ann Widdecombe was also involved in the creation of the artwork.

"This is an historic day for for Britain," said Miss Widdecombe, who left the European parliament for the final time on Friday waving from a taxi and smiling, while accompanied by a bagpiper.

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