EU says British cities can no longer take part in 'Capitals of Culture' competition

Five UK cities have already submitted bids for 2023

EU says British cities can no longer take part in 'Capitals of Culture' competition

File photo of an EU flag flying in front of the UK Houses of Parliament in London | Image: Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

Britain is being kicked out of the European Capital of Culture competition.

The UK will no longer be able to compete to be in the running for the title.

This means that five cities there who are currently bidding for the honour in 2023 will not be able to participate.

The European Commission says this is a direct result of the UK's Brexit vote.

It says cities that can take the title must be either in EU member states, or cities in candidate and EFTA/EEA countries.

It adds that since the UK will leave the EU by March 29th 2019, it "cannot host the #EuropeanCapitalofCulture in 2023"


Galway is set to hold the title in 2020, along with Rijeka in Croatia.

The current holders are Aarhus in Denmark and Pafos in Cyprus.

Next year, the title will go to Leeuwarden in the Netherlands and Valetta in Malta.

And in 2019 the title will be held by Matera, Italy and Plovdiv in Bulgaria.

Several British cities - a Belfast/Derry joint bid, Dundee, Nottingham, Leeds and Milton Keynes - had put in bids for 2023.

Liverpool was the last British city to be a European Capital of Culture in 2008, following Glasgow in 1990.

In a tweet, Culture Liverpool said it was "really saddened by this decision".