European cities are flying the union flag to campaign against Brexit

A pro-European sandcastle in Southport. Image: Getty.

The wait is over – Britain’s EU referendum is finally here. The nation’s long nightmare is over, or possibly just beginning (delete according to result and taste).

The cities of Europe, though, have been making their own feelings about the vote pretty clear. Madrid's City Hall was illuminated in red, white and blue, to show its support for the Remain campaign:


In Warsaw, the Union flag was projected onto the side of the Palace of Culture building, complete with hashtag:


In Vienna, a huge Union Jack was projected onto the side of the MuseumsQuartier – which, Wikipedia tells us, is the eighth largest cultural area in the world (citation needed).


In Florence, Michelangelo's David was wearing a jaunty new outfit:


The German news magazine Der Spiegel made this its cover last week:

(Okay, Der Spiegel isn't technically a city, but we wanted something German.)

And back in London, a bunch of Parisians tried to give out croissants at Kings Cross station  ("Operation Croissant") to persuade waverers to vote Remain.

But, according to the Guardian:

the Electoral Commission said Operation Croissant was illegal under a law that prevents the use of food, drink or entertainment to influence voting.

The croissants were baked in Paris on Wednesday morning and transported to London on the first Eurostar train of the day. But the plan to give them out to commuters was thwarted when police intervened.

They were forced to give out cards instead.


The first results from today's referendum will start coming in the early hours of the morning. Our colleagues Helen Lewis and Stephen Bush will be liveblogging all night over at the Staggers.


What we're reading: A novel plan to salvage summer tourism

Travel plans: Cyprus announced an unusual idea to salvage tourism this summer: The BBC reports that the government will pay for accommodations and food for anyone who tests positive for coronavirus after travelling there.

Rental crisis: Renters in the US are more likely to have lower in comes and work the kinds of jobs that evaporated when the coronavirus hit, and that, The New York Times reports, is setting the stage for an eviction crisis.

Location, location: The opening of coronavirus testing facilities is yet another chance to see how resources are unevenly distributed in American cities. NPR crunched the data in Texas cities and found that black and Latino neighbourhoods have fewer testing site than whiter and wealthier neighbourhoods, showing another gap in efforts to contain an outbreak.