Without sounding like too much of a wanky-taking-part-is-what-counts-I’ll-have-a-mocha-latte-pumpkin-spiced-vegan-coffee-with-a-side-of-avocado millennial, I’ve always seen myself as more of a citizen of a world, rather than being just British. We’re all so inter-connected by ease of travel and, more importantly, through technology that we never feel very separate, by life or physical distance. Championing being part of the bigger picture, let me introduce you to the AncestryDNA #EuroPartofMe campaign.
The first thing I couldn’t help but noticed the second the campaign launched was the backlash on social media with people ranting about this being an overtly political campaign. These people totally missed the point. The campaign is a beautiful reaction to the animosity caused by the EU vote - it’s a reminder that, in or out, we’re all still connected by cultures, passions and shared values. This was no more evident in the fact that both Leavers and Remainers took part in the campaign.
AncestryDNA #EuroPartofMe: More unites us than divides us
Leave-voting Cheryl Baker and Iain Dale appear in film with ‘Remainers’ Alastair Campbell and June Sarpong – alongside switcher Stanley Johnson. The campaign looks at cultural and genetic European connections.
The campaign is inspired by research that found, on average, Britons derive the majority of their DNA (60%) from Europe*. The new DNA findings come from analysis of the genetic make-up of those living in Britain*, based on data collated from the AncestryDNA test, which examines a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 different genetic locations.
Russell James at AncestryDNA said: “We believe our shared Europeanness is something that we can all celebrate, irrespective of how we voted in the referendum. Whether it’s through family and friends in Europe, or memories of good times abroad, so many of us are proud of our enduring connections to the continent. Our recent analysis revealed that the typical Brit’s DNA is more diverse than many of us realised and is actually 60% European – which is a testament to our intertwined history and centuries of migration back and forth.”
Commenting on the new campaign, Alastair Campbell said: “Whatever your view on Brexit, if you voted to leave the EU or remain, as I did, Europe is in our DNA and is a part of our identity both as individuals and as a nation. We have a shared past and a shared future.”
To launch the campaign, the AncestryDNA team headed out to London’s South Bank to invite people to share what makes #EuroPartofMe for them.
*Statistics based Ancestry data up to November 2017