By Thomas L Blair 23 August 2016 ©
Brexit’s weakening pound is a welcome gift to the Notting Hill Carnival that draws two million people to the streets on August bank holiday. Now in its 52nd year, the UK’s biggest street festival is a prime target for European tourists.
Straight after the referendum, the pound fell to its lowest value for over 30 years, according to finance experts. The decline stands at 10% and 15% lower against most other currencies including the Euro.
This means that carnival travel and accommodation costs will be cheaper for foreign festivalgoers, especially for international students. The extra Euros they spend enjoying the sights and delights of carnival could be a bonus. Especially for cash-strapped carnival organisers, designers, steel bands, workers and local traders.
However, don’t let this “added tourist value” distort your perception of community carnivals. This one is historic. The The Notting Hill Carnival is the most famous creative response to the racist attacks against Black peoples, 30 August-5 September 1958.
Therefore, “We ‘ting” celebrates a strengthened African Caribbean identity in Britain and Europe. With confidence, Black London welcomes national diversity, EU and overseas tourists. Post-Brexit the overwhelming message is that the #NottingHillCarnivalmattersforall.