FRIDAY is Brexit Day and whatever your views on the long-running argument over Britain's membership of the European Union it is worth reflecting on how it has affected South Cumbria.

Long after we officially break our links with the EU there will still be plaques on dozens of buildings and other projects showing that they had been created, enlarged, or restored, with the help money from Europe.

There were also the candidates visiting our towns and villages every few years hoping to get elected as an MEP - once just for Cumbria but now selected from a pool to represent the North West.

At the end of March in 1998 Furness College business students Janine Stevens, Katie Coward, Carrie Blakeborough, and Anne Speirs were packing for a European tour.

One of the stops was to be the European Parliament where they would meet MEP Tony Cunningham.

The Mail, on February 12 in 2001 noted that Conservative councillors Pam Smith and Jack Richardson had braved the showers in Barrow to lobby against the proposed scrapping of the British pound in favour of the euro.

Greater integration with Europe brought up litres at the petrol station and kilos at the butcher and greengrocer.

The Mail, on February 8 in 1999, noted that Booths supermarket at Ulverston had just completed the shift to metric weights for all fresh foods.

In February 2001 the Conservatives brought a national Keep the Pound campaign to Barrow in Leyland Daf wagon and gained 1,000 signatures opposed to adopting the euro as Britain's currency. Another 500 had signed in Ulverston.

Liberal Democrat Euro MP Chris Davies visited Barrow in February 2001 to launch a campaign to promote green energy in South Cumbria.

He stood in a wind turbine pose by Walney Channel at the Barrow Dock Museum with Furness Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate Barrow Rabone.

The campaign included setting up turbines near Barrow's docks and a target to generate 10 per cent of Furness electricity by renewable methods by 2010.

Protecting Europe's farmers against cheaper imports and encouraging over production led to what were claimed as wine lakes and butter mountains.

The Mail, on Saturday, June 20 in 1998, noted: "Queues more than 100 yards long stretched down Marsh Street in Barrow as more than 10,000 tins of European beef were given away.

"Yesterday's giveaway was due to start at 11am but people began queuing at 10am outside the John Morgan Caravan Storage Depot, where the meat was stored.

"By mid-afternoon more than 700 people had already turned up and claimed their entitlement of eight cans each."