Islington author to drive 1973 VW Beatle to 13 European Union capitals she’s never visited before Brexit deadline

Louise Tucker will drive her WV Beatle around Europe before the October 31 Brexit deadline. Picture:

Louise Tucker will drive her WV Beatle around Europe before the October 31 Brexit deadline. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

An Islington author will drive a VW Beatle as old as Britain’s European Union membership around 13 continental capitals she’s never visited before ahead of the UK’s scheduled exit from the block on October 31.

Louise Tucker, a cookbook author who teaches writing at London Met and Goldsmiths universities, sets off on Saturday on a quest to experience as much of Europe as she can before Brexit strips her of freedom of movement and makes such adventures less straight forward.

The 42-year-old will visit Luxembourg, Helsinki, Tallinn (Estonia), Vilnius (Lithuania), Bratislava (Slovakia), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Zagreb (Croatia), Bucharest (Romania), Sophia (Bulgaria), Athens (Greece) and Nicosia (Cyprus).

Louise, who plans to write a book about her journey, told the Gazette: "It seems like a really good way to celebrate what the European Union is for me. What's happened for me in terms of Brexit is, having been raised in Europe since I was 10 or 11 - it's a very Islington thing but it's like you've been an Arsenal Football Club supporter all your life and someone says you have to support Spurs. It's part of all I am.

"I have lived abroad three or four times and I think it's a wonderful thing to do and I think for [the younger] generations it's a catastrophe - I think it's a total tragedy."

She wants her trip to celebrate all the best parts of the EU, such as the right to travel and work freely in different countries and the values of openness and tolerance between people of different, nationalities, faiths and cultures. "I love driving," she added, "but I just want to see all these places I have never been and just experience it. I don't think it will be impossible to travel after Brexit but it won't be as easy."

Asked what she thinks should happen to solve the Brexit impasse, Louise said if she's thinking pragmatically the UK should leave the EU because that's what people voted for, though she'd like the "softest" break from the block as possible. But in an idealistic world she'd love to see article 50 revoked so the UK can remain a member of the EU.

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Reflecting on her opposition to Brexit, Louise added: "It's not really about politics -it's about whether we believe in openness. Islington is a really mixed area full of brilliant people from everywhere. My neighbours are Italian, French [etc] who wouldn't want that?"