Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson created a video of support for last weekend’s 'March for a People’s Vote', in which demonstrators called for a vote on the final Brexit deal.
Scheffler and Donaldson, who have created several picture books together, both condemned Brexit, with Donaldson saying: “I was born in 1948, very much in the shadow of the Second World War so I’ve always grown up believing strongly in a united Europe. That’s one of the best ways of helping prevent such terrible conflict happening in the future."
She talked about her time visiting children in countries across Europe and said it pained her that kids in the UK “are going to grow up in a country that has an unwelcoming, isolationist attitude”. Scheffler and European artists like him have had a “tremendous influence” on culture and art, and the country will lose out by restricting freedom of movement, she added.
Scheffler said: “Coming from the world of children’s books I can think of two examples where refugees and migrants enriched the culture of this country. Judith Kerr came from Nazi Germany in the 30s and I came later as an EU migrant. Many children have read our books.
“I’m deeply worried about the future of the children in our country, the children of Europe. In these times of unprecedented global dangers where unity, friendship, international collab is more important than ever to defend our values, save our planet and preserve peace and prosperity in Europe.”
Last month Scheffler won Illustrator of the Year at The British Book Awards. Picking up his trophy, he said: “It’s just ten months until 'Freedom Day' – next March (the date the UK is officially meant to break ties with the EU) – and I – and my fellow EU citizens, many working in the UK book industry – are still living in uncertainty. We have, so far, no guarantee that we can still live and work here in the future. In a worst-case scenario, I might not be allowed to stay here by the time my next book with Julia Donaldson is launched."
“Brexiteers will say ‘we want you here if we profit from you’ but how do you know if a student or young girl comes to the country (what she will go on to do). I worry when I look at the post-Brexit future for the children who grew up with our books. What went wrong? Weren't their parents or grandparents reading Room On The Broom [a book he created with Julia Donaldson] with its message of the importance of friendship, kindness solidarity and partnership?"
According to the BBC, tens of thousands demonstrators took part in the March for a People's Vote on Saturday (23rd June).