THE co-founder of an arts project bringing a star symbolising the UK’s "lost place in the EU" to Scotland says Brexit is “falling apart very quickly”.

Peter French, a pro-EU campaigner who helped found the Our Star project, said he believes the UK will have no option but to be back inside the EU within the next decade as it doesn’t have enough industry to support the country.

Artist Jacques Tilly – who created some famous effigies which featured on Brexit protests, including of Theresa May - was asked to make the star to promote European values, with an emphasis on peace and unity.

Having toured other countries, including visits to the European Parliament in Brussels and Wales, the artwork is coming to Scotland to celebrate European unity and promote positive discussion on the EU.

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The Our Star events in Scotland are being hosted by the European Movement in Scotland (EMiS), with the first to be held in Dumfries on Saturday, November 18.

French said one of the aims of the project was to set up youth forums so that the voice of the younger generation could be included in the debate and become involved.

He said it also aimed to set up citizens’ panels to give people more of a say following the success of a project in the EU.

“For the last two years, the EU carried out an experiment, with citizens' assemblies set up throughout the EU,” he said.

The National:

“They were so overwhelmed by the policies suggested coming back to these assemblies, in total about 176 – they were so impressed that about 49 of them they are now trying to implement into the EU constitution.

“It is massive – policies on issues such as climate change, on healthcare, on unemployment.

“It was so successful they want to have citizens’ panels going forward now to be there to help for policy – so the policies that come are also suggested by the people, it is not just politicians making the decision.

“So if we were to rejoin – which I think we are likely to in 10 years, we will probably have to be part of that, we will have to create them.

“So in a way we want to do that now and be ahead of the game.”

French said the Our Star project had long-term ambitions and was not intended as a “quick fix”.

But he added: “Having the star there representing the values of the EU, we can also use it to tell people the truth about the EU and correct some of untruths that were told up until the referendum and beyond, so people have a better sense and understanding of what the EU does, how it works and how it functions.”

He said he believed the UK would rejoin the EU in the next decade because Brexit is “falling apart much faster" than he thought it would.

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“With the cost of living crisis people are acutely aware of what’s going on and now with the scandals that are coming out of the Covid inquiry, I think people are beginning to realise things are not the way they should have been,” he said.

“It will be a case of not whether we want to rejoin, it is a case of I think we will have to rejoin as we don’t have enough industries ourselves to actually support ourselves and I don’t know where that is going to come from.”

Phil Jeanes, who also co-founded of the Our Star project, said: “Having a campaign and something active has really awakened quite a lot of people and we are hoping that will multiply.

“I think that has happened in Scotland where the EMiS team have put forward a really interesting series of events, all focusing on questions of the future which is part of the central theme.”

He added: “We are hoping it will engage more of the public in discussion and therefore we are hoping to emulate some of the actions the EU is currently taking by introducing citizens' assemblies and forums where people become more used to discussing and having their voice heard.

“It is looking to emulate that process where there is more active discussion about what we want in the future.”