Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, has accepted Jeremy Corbyn’s invitation to a meeting next week (Tuesday is likely) to discuss tactics for avoiding a no deal.
She said: “A no deal Brexit would be a disaster for this country and Parliament must prevent it in any way possible. Jeremy Corbyn has done the right thing by reaching out to colleagues and I welcome the fact that all the opposition parties in the House of Commons have accepted his invitation for discussions.
“I would urge all MPs who have been approached and who
recognise the danger this country faces to join these talks with an open
mind. We all need to put our country’s future first.
“That means either pursuing legislative measures or a vote of no confidence in a Boris Johnson government which is showing every intention of driving this country off the edge of a cliff, and replacing it with a caretaker government which is committed to giving the people the right to decide on the Brexit deal.
“I am prepared to support Jeremy Corbyn as leader of this
caretaker government, as should any MP who wants to stop a No Deal
“But if he cannot gain the support of a sufficient number of
colleagues across Parliament, I hope he will be prepared to back another
MP from his party, or another, who can. I will ask him again to
make his position clear in our discussions next week.“I will also continue to make the case that we need a People’s Vote before a general election, as the only certain way of ensuring that the British people have the final say on Brexit.”
Hove MP, Peter Kyle, led a very strong campaign against a no
deal Brexit in Parliament alongside his Labour colleagues which resulted in the
extension to Brexit we have at the moment.
He said: “At this eleventh hour MPs must come together to fight the disaster of a no deal Brexit, which we all know would have unimaginable consequences for our communities and for the country.
“Boris Johnson’s extreme Brexit will damage local jobs, local tourism and opportunities for our young people. So every option must now be on the table, and I’m completely confident that if we work together, Parliament can and will block this impending catastrophe.”
As things stand we should be leaving the European Union on
31 October unless the opposition can unite and find an alternative solution.
Swinson will be representing the Liberal Democrats at Mr Corbyn’s tactics
meeting. In replying to his letter she wrote suggesting that the Labour plan to
make the Labour leader head of an ‘interim’ government is “not viable.”
Mrs Swinson would prefer Harriet Harman or Ken Clarke to lead a caretaker
government and steer the country through this crisis.
she said: “in this moment of national emergency, I stand ready to work
with anyone to stop Boris Johnson and his hard-line Brexit government if it is
brought before the House of Commons.
“I am ambitious for the Liberal Democrats, as you are for the Labour Party, but we are facing a national crisis and we may we need an emergency government to resolve it.”
isn’t the time for personal agendas and political games. We cannot allow party
politics to stand in the way of Members from all sides of the House of Commons
working together in the national interest.
matters right now is a plan that works and will stop a No Deal Breit.”
Bass, Parliamentary Candidate for the Lib Dems in Hove said: “The Lib Dems are
the strongest and biggest remain party and will do anything we can to stop
Brexit. The coming weeks are going to be crucial and will decide the direction
the UK is taking.
“I am glad that our leader, Jo Swinson, is working hard towards cross-party collaboration to find a workable and viable solution. This isn’t the time for personal agendas and political games.”
Nationalist parties, the SNP and Plaid Cymru will also be at the tactics meeting next week. Opposition from Scotland could be key to taking a no deal Brexit off the table for good.
An edited version of this article was published on Brighton and Hove News today.
Britain needs to commit to European elections which must
take place between 23 and 26 May this year, 2019.
Britain has three choices:
To leave without a deal with the EU before May
22 –this option has been ruled out for now
To opt out of the European elections making
To participate in European elections and
reconsider the Brexit deal
After committing to European elections, MPs then have two choices:
Call a general election because Labour and Conservative leadership is poor and inconsistent.
Have another referendum on membership of the EU, that is another people’s vote.
Leave Campaign consistently lied about the impact of Brexit and they still have no plan for life in Britain, post-Brexit.
Brexiteers want to leave the EU because they don’t like the
regulation but they have no vision for a different Britain and the
Conservatives have not yet found a solution to the current stalemate.
Leadership of the Conservative and Labour parties is poor
and Brexit is a defining moment in the career not just of every politician in
Westminster but more importantly of every citizen of the United Kingdom. Brexit
is the defining moment of my generation.
Brexit has divided Britain and made us a laughing stock in
Europe. French may well continue to block EU/UK negotiations. They have a track
record in doing this. Think of the Iraq War and Tony Blair’s attempts to get a
The Brexit referendum was unnecessary and a mistake. It will leave us trading with America and other countries with poor health, food and climate change standards who are involved in human rights abuses not least to immigrants.
Providing certainty and a vote in Parliament
– immediate fail, we have not yet left the EU because there is no consensus in
Westminster about how to do this and the votes have been indicative votes.
Theresa May did not want to give Parliament decision-making powers but she now
has to. Parliament is sovereign, not the executive, i.e. the government.
Taking control of our own laws – Parliament
is already sovereign in the UK and Mrs May does not want the European Court of
Justice to have jurisdiction over British laws. As a member of the EU we have
another Parliament of 27 member states to help manage trade, climate change,
agriculture, fisheries and food and an EU court of human rights.
Strengthening the union – the UK should
remain united as four countries on one island and we should remain in the EU. There
is no conflict or need to choose between the two but if forced, Scotland may
leave the UK in order to remain in the EU. Scotland is very likely to call
another independence referendum and to negotiate membership with the EU if the
rest of the UK leaves it.
Protecting our strong and historic ties with Ireland and preventing a hard border – peace in Ireland is of paramount importance and so is power-sharing between unionists and republicans. This is fragile as evidenced by the suspension of Stormont’s Parliament in January 2017. Stormont, Northern Ireland’s Parliament, was suspended when Martin McGuiness resigned over the Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI) authorised by then first minister Arlene Foster which cost Northern Ireland £480m. Elections followed and DUP unionists now hold 28 seats, a majority of one in Stormont, nationalists Sinn Fein hold 27 seats. Westminster agreed a budget in November last year but Stormont remains suspended and as yet, there is no official ‘direct rule.’
If Brexit goes through, this deadlock will become even more entrenched and Stormont may be dissolved altogether, returning Northern Ireland to direct rule by Westminster. DUP unionists may prefer to be ruled by Westminster than by Sinn Fein and they have a majority of one in Stormont.
4. Maintaining the common travel area with the Republic of Ireland means the UK will have a land border with the EU.
5. Controlled migration – immigration will continue but the hostile environment will get worse and we will simply attract less educated migrants who will contribute less to the UK economy. Mrs May has provided no information at all about what migration policy will become without the EU post Brexit. I suspect it will be draconian and inhumane.
6. Guaranteeing people who’ve moved (into the UK and to the EU) the right to remain in the country of their choice.
7. Protecting worker’s rights – the European Working Time Directive does this and a myriad of other EU statute and regulations including for contractors, temporary workers, etc.
8. Quit the EU single market membership – Mrs May does not want to adhere to the EU’s four freedoms including free movement of labour, goods, services and capital. If we remain in the EU, UK courts will continue to sit under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Mrs May does not want to make a financial contribution to the EU.
9. Quit full customs union membership – Mrs May does not want Britain to be part of the Common Commercial Policy nor to be bound by the Common External Tariff. Mrs May wants a customs agreement with the EU on her terms. Britain currently has to apply the same tariffs as the rest of the EU. If we don’t do this, we’ll need to set up time-consuming bilateral trade agreements like Canada and we’ll lose our competitive advantage, particularly in the City of London and our financial industries who may move to France or Germany. Securing new trade agreements with other countries outside the EU – economics will trump human rights and social justice.
10. A deal for science and tech – continue to collaborate with our European partners on major science, research, and technology initiatives. From space exploration and clean energy to medical technologies, research should continue but the best brains may no longer choose to move to Britain.
11. Cooperation on fighting crime and terrorism – The EU has an international police force to fight terrorism across borders and share information. As a previous Home Secretary, Mrs May should take seriously the significant threat of terrorism in Ireland and from outside powers both within and beyond the EU.
12. A ‘phased’ agreement beyond 2019 – Mrs May is already in penalty time and there is no agreement about a way forward in Parliament.
My conclusion is that we need new leadership of the Conservatives and
Labour and a general election. This may result in another People’s Vote if there
is an independent inquiry first into the Leave Campaign’s policy-making, not
simply their electoral fraud including expenses.
I feel betrayed by the ‘bad boys of Brexit’ both within the Conservative Party and UKIP because they have no plan and never have had for leaving the European Union.
Since the referendum, the media has exposed how figures were plucked out of the air (£350m for the NHS) and the referendum result was probably rigged by Aaron Banks of the Leave Campaign and foreign powers, including Russia and America, exploiting Facebook.
The Leave Campaign has paid it’s fine from the electoral commission in the hope that the electoral commission will not ask any more questions. I sincerely hope the electoral commission or the government’s fraud watchdog and the Police ask a lot more questions because there are questions to be asked. Serious questions about rigging elections and expenses.
The problem with politics is that the ‘Winner takes it all.’ Brexit was and still is a power struggle between political parties and the Conservatives have the upper hand because they are in government. Labour is divided.
Let me put my cards on the table. I voted remain and would much prefer to pay my dues to the European Union and trade with European countries subject to the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. I am Scottish, British and profoundly European.
Prime Minister David Cameron was the first at fault because he could not win around Brexiteers so he took what he thought was the easy way out and gave the British people a referendum. Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher would not have done this until they had won the argument within their own party. Mr Cameron, I think, will now see a country not united with trading parties around the world but bitterly divided with far less influence within the EU. I do not think this is in Britain’s national interest.
Britain is a country to be proud of but we only have about 70 million people and we need trusted trade partners who abide by our food safety, animal welfare standards and above all our human rights record. We can find a solution to climate change but we can’t do it without Europe, we can’t make as many scientific advances, we’re an island with secure borders but we can’t operate in isolation.
America has very few food safety standards compared to Europe, President Trump does not support climate change and a good economy cannot hide the fracturing within American society symbolised by Mexico’s wall. America is a country of immigrants and they made the United States great.
Theresa May remains the only Conservative MP who was prepared and got enough votes to take up the poisoned chalice of Brexit. For that she should be remembered and applauded. Conservatives did not have confidence in the men who wanted the job. But a coronation, as Gordon Brown knows, is a dangerous phenomenon and may in itself be another poisoned chalice.
Brexit matters because it goes to the heart of our British political system. It is clear that Britain wants to be a sovereign nation and she already is. Britain voted leave in the eleventh referendum in the United Kingdom. Britain voted to enter the European Union in the first ever referendum in 1975.
However, both Mrs May and Mr Corbyn are being protectionist. There is a growing number of MPs calling for a free vote in Parliament and a taskforce of the best minds to find a solution. Parliament was not in favour of Brexit but the country was. Therein lies the dilemma facing British MPs across the political spectrum.
I think the electoral commission does not have enough teeth to deal with fraudulent electioneering which tarnished all the major parties. Their powers are limited and the fines are a drop in the ocean: £60,000 paid this week by the Leave Campaign.
I think the Police or Serious Fraud Office either do not have enough evidence, time or are being blocked by government and members of the establishment within their own ranks from investigating what really happened during the ‘Brexit referendum.’
Criminal investigations are necessary from time to time, as are independent inquiries conducted by the legal system. They are different from public inquiries where the government sets the terms of reference. British democracy is a series of checks and balances between the executive which is the government, Parliament that is divided and the courts which have been totally ignored.
While the terms of reference of a public inquiry will be dictated by the government, an independent inquiry conducted by the courts into vote leave’s election campaign was never carried out. Think of the Liverpool football disaster. Twenty years later, the families still do not know what happened. Grenfell Tower survivors want an inquest which is independent, not a public inquiry.
Cambridge Analytica was shut down. Facebook continues to be exploited but no-one wants to lose their friends. Mrs May is a woman who is being presented in the media as a dictator but who may actually be more of a private civil servant. She says it will be my deal or no deal because she could not negotiate any other deal with the EU.
We need a free vote in Parliament, it may not be the first. If we don’t get that, there needs to be a general election which will mean participating in European elections meantime. Cabinet is in disarray. Parliament has not yet agreed a way forward. The Attorney General is a member of the government.
I would like us to take part in European elections but if we do, our far right may try to take over and disrupt the European Parliament as they have done before.
Brexit has brought into sharp relief the inequalities and class system within English society which is less of a problem in Scotland or Wales. Ireland is also less classist and religion and politics are a toxic combination. Ireland is in great danger of imploding again if the backstop can’t be resolved.
If we don’t want our Policemen and women and soldiers dying on the streets of Ireland, we need to find a solution. There is a will to do this in Parliament if only Theresa May would listen. Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve and Rory Stewart who used to be a diplomat will help Theresa May. All she needs to do is ask them.
Peter Kyle wants a confirmatory public vote confirming what MPs decide but there will be the option to remain in the EU. Caroline Lucas and the Lib Dems want a people’s vote and they will fight for proportional representation so that Parliament really is sovereign in future. Lloyd Russell-Moyle may be among those who persuade Mr Corbyn to stand aside.
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas is backing a second referendum as only a “people’s poll” will stop the government “marching us towards a national calamity” that is a hard Brexit.
The Greens’ joint leaders, Mrs Lucas and Jonathan Bartley, plan to spell out their message to colleagues today (Saturday 3 March) at the party’s spring conference in Bournemouth.
Mrs Lucas intends to accuse the government of “playing politics with peace in Northern Ireland” and she will urge Prime Minister Theresa May not to “sacrifice the Good Friday Agreement on the altar of an extreme Brexit”.
She is expected to tell the conference: “We win when we stand up for what we believe in – from the smallest issues in a local ward to the biggest issue of the day – Brexit.
Mrs Lucas will say: “Conference, we win when we stand up for what we believe in – from the smallest issues in a local ward, to the biggest issue of the day – Brexit. Let’s not forget that the EU was originally a peace project, forged in the wake of the destruction and devastation of the Second World War. Rising from the rubble left by bombs and armies. The principle that nations who share resources will value peace above war. And the cause of peace is at stake again today.
“The way this Government is playing politics with peace in Northern Ireland is reckless and indefensible. So our message to Theresa May is very clear: Sacrificing the Good Friday Agreement on the altar of an extreme Brexit is nothing short of criminal, and it must not be allowed to happen.”
In his leader’s speech, co-leader Jonathan Bartley will criticise Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn for pursuing a Brexit that will “hit poorest communities hardest,” and call on Labour to stand with Greens for a people’s poll on the final deal.
Yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May made a key speech about Brexit at Mansion House. She said: “Reciprocal commitments to ensure fair and open competition, an independent arbitration mechanism, an ongoing dialogue, data protection arrangements and maintaining the links between our people.”
Mrs May said she wanted no tariffs and only one set of regulatory checks for goods (between Europe and the UK.) She repeated an earlier commitment to leave the customs union while avoiding a hard border in Ireland. She wants to limit barriers to movement of labour but to mirror free movement without signing up to it.
In response to Theresa May’s speech on Brexit today, Jonathan Bartley will say: “The Green Party will not give up on staying close to Europe. We are proud to be campaigning for people’s poll on the final deal that explicitly includes an option to remain part of the European Union. Because as we march towards the national calamity of Brexit, we know there is an alternative.
“But, far from acting like an official opposition, Labour risks being complicit in an unfolding disaster, and one felt first and foremost in those very communities it seeks to represent. Both Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May are committed to a Brexit that will hit poorest communities hardest.
“And that’s why today I want to make a direct plea to the Labour frontbench. Show some leadership, put the national interest above your party interest, stand up for free movement, stand up for young people. And stand with all of us campaigning for a people’s poll on the final deal.”
This article was first published in Brighton and Hove News yesterday ahead of the Green Party spring conference.
A long queue of Labour supporters assembled yesterday to hear Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, live-streamed from Birmingham with Brighton Parliamentary candidates centre stage at the Synergy Centre at 6pm yesterday.
First speaker to take the to the podium was Brighton Pavilion candidate, Solomon Curtis, who said people have empowered politics and argued that it was the Labour Party who would form a strong and stable government with less austerity, more teachers, more nurses and a future for young people.
He said: “Come home, come back to Labour. It has always been the people in the Labour Party that make it great… If you want to live next to a black person, vote Labour.” Mr Curtis said he was feeling the spirit of 1945 and rallied the crowds with the words: “Brighton, solidarity!”
Brighton Kemptown candidate, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, took to the stage next and predicted a Labour victory in Kemptown. He said Labour must save the NHS in Brighton which is in special measures. He said healthcare must be free at the point of delivery and private companies should be kicked out.
He criticised cuts to school budgets which affected special needs children and a predominantly female workforce. Mr Russell-Moyle said 10% of Brighton and Hove’s population are on a housing waiting list and this city has the second highest homeless population in Britain. Labour has promised they will build one million council houses for Britain.
He said there was a simple choice: a Britain spiralling into despair or a Britain with an economy that grows not just for the very rich, but for everyone. He urged supporters to spend today and tomorrow (polling day) with their Labour family.
First-time voter Farah Alice Black spoke and explained that she became interested in politics after her youth centre came under threat of closure.
She said: “We will not let Theresa May be the Mrs Thatcher of my generation.”
She said she would be voting for Jeremy Corbyn and encouraged supporters to take heart that they have, in Mr Corbyn, a politician for the people even if the TV and media hate him.
Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade Barry Gardiner said in response to recent terror attacks: “We are united in solidarity, love, love for life and nowhere expresses that better than Brighton. Brighton knows about solidarity, coming together of people of all genders, races, colours, religions, gay, transsexual and straight people.” He criticised Mrs May for pitting the young against the old and for promoting tax giveaways for the richest.
Mr Corbyn urged voters to vote Labour because the party will fight for an NHS free at the point of use which is a fundamental human right, address unrequited ambition in young people by empowering them and reduce the great gap between rich and poor.
Music was provided by Brighton’s DJ Enzo Siffredi, long-time Labour supporter and singer-songwriter Robb Johnson and folk singer Sam Lee at the Brighton event last night.
A retired head teacher from Comart in Whitehawk is now the founder of the “teach a friend to read” campaign. She said: “Like all my friends and anybody I am close to, like anyone who cares about society and future of the planet, we’re all passionate about Jeremy Corbyn and his team.
“He is gaining power to make the world a better place. If the Tories win the election, it doesn’t matter because young people will just take over, having all the brainpower, IT and heart at their disposal. Either way, now is our time and our moment. The good guys are going to win.”
Jess Reilly wanted to show solidarity with Labour and planned to put a bet on Mr Corbyn winning, she was not a Labour Party member until Mr Corbyn became leader.
While the rally was mainly Labour Party members, some people were voting tactically.
Bethan Hudson, aged 23, supports the progressive alliance. She is training as a counsellor and working full-time. She said Mr Corbyn had a very different outlook and his approach with a costed manifesto compared well to the Conservative one which, she said, just supported the wealthy.
She said: “Prime Minister Theresa May going back on the dementia tax and social care shows how her government is not strong or stable.”
David Hudson who is a videographer said he would be voting for the Green Party because he lived in Brighton Pavilion. He said: “That is not to say I don’t wholeheartedly support Jeremy, I support the Labour Party and specific politicians. The Greens have fantastic policies, if there is a hung parliament, the Green Party have much in line with Labour and their manifesto.”
Sophie White from Hove said she will vote for Labour’s Peter Kyle. She said, in Hove, Labour have the best chance of being re-elected. She said: “I like the Green Party and their values but I also support Labour so they have got my vote.”
Alternatively, you can swap your vote with a voter in a different constituency where your party is stronger and more likely to win so that your vote makes more of a difference.
You must arrange swapping your vote before 10pm today and use social media to verify your identity. You need to confirm that you are a real person and give the person you swap with an idea of your political preferences and convictions. Effectively, you should then be able to help two parties you like win, rather than just one which may be a minority party where you live.
However, be warned, you can’t necessarily choose the constituency of the person you swap with at this election, only the party. The tool may become more sophisticated in future elections.
Reflecting on Brexit, Caroline Lucas said: “This General Election changes everything and the choices we all make matter like never before.”
On Tuesday 2 May the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats agreed to fight for Britain to remain part of the single market. Both parties want freedom of movement to become part of the Brexit deal.
For the Liberal Democrats, this means that Britain should be an open, tolerant United Kingdom where the rights of EU citizens are guaranteed and British citizens can live, work, study and travel freely in Europe.
Green Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas, said she adds protection of the environment to Britain remaining a member of the single market and for continued freedom of movement.
Mrs Lucas joins Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, in announcing a new pledge to give voters a referendum to ratify Brexit that will include the option to remain in the European Union.
A Labour Voice
Ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair agrees with Mrs Lucas and Mr Farron. According to the Guardian he said that while the final exit deal had yet to be agreed, the perils of a hard Brexit were clear: “The single market put us in the Champions League of trading agreements. A free-trade agreement is like League One. We are relegating ourselves.” Brighton and Hove Albion supporters know what that feels like and they know the triumph of victory.
In an interview with Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer on Sunday 30 April, Mr Blair said: “If we really do Brexit and we do Brexit with withdrawal from the single market, you can forget her ideas (PM Theresa May) of a more cuddly capitalism. A low-tax, light regulation, offshore hub economy, that is where you will end up. This is the right-wing fantasy. It’s driven by the right of the Tory party and the cabal that runs the right-wing media in this country…”
“It’s certainly true we don’t have a God-given right to carry on as a competing party of government. But there’s no reason why Labour can’t become the repository of that new coalition of progressive forces that is available to us in today’s society and which is basically the same progressive coalition that brought us to power in 1997.”
A Liberal Democrat Voice
Liberal Democrat Caroline Hynds, Hove Parliamentary Candidate, is also fighting hard against Brexit. She said: “The Liberal Democrat position is clear and consistent. We have long been calling for a referendum on the terms of Brexit and believe the people should have the final say on the deal.
“Our party believes in an open, tolerant and united future with the UK staying in the single market, guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens to stay in the UK, and protecting our rights to live, travel, study and work in Europe.
“Caroline Lucas’ stance on this issue – fighting against hard, divisive Brexit, making the positive case for Europe and giving the people the final say – is an area in which we have much common ground, reflected in Lib Dem PPC (Prospective Parliamentary Candidate) Paul Chandler standing down in Brighton Pavilion.
“I’d like to see more from Labour on this as they are, after all, the official party of opposition, but Peter Kyle’s hands are tied by the policies of Jeremy Corbyn.”
A Green Voice
Mrs Lucas, arguing for public ratification of Brexit said: “This General Election potentially changes everything. We are at a crossroads – and the choices we make in the coming weeks will have huge consequences for the kind of country we’re going to be in the future.
“And the biggest choice we face is clearly about Brexit.
“Though my party fought hard for Britain to stay in the EU, and I voted against an unconditional triggering of Article 50, we accept, of course, that the referendum was an instruction to the Government to begin Brexit negotiations.
“We do not accept, however, that the decision should be irreversible. The referendum should be the start, not the end, of the democratic process.
“And it’s therefore right that people should have the right to a say on the final deal in a ratification referendum – with the option to remain in the EU if they so choose.
“There are those who will say that this is contrary to the ‘will of the people’.
“But the claim that the referendum produced an irreversible verdict is a sham.
“At a General Election, voters obviously have the right to revisit the choice of government that they made at a previous election.
“It would be ludicrous to suggest people couldn’t change their minds about which way to vote, as facts change, and experience becomes clearer.
“And in the same way, it gives them the right to revisit a referendum result, as long as the parties are clear about the options on the table.
“Whoever forms a Government after June 8 will have a mandate to negotiate with the EU on our behalf.
“But we live in a democracy and it would be deeply undemocratic to impose the terms of any deal on Britain’s citizens, on our communities, young people, and businesses. So let’s give people honest choices.
“Let’s be clear that there is a wealth of difference between a soft Brexit, with membership of the Single Market, and an extreme Brexit – the one our Prime Minister is hell bent on pursuing, where we’re out of the single market, out of the Customs Union, ending free movement, and with our key social and environmental protections at risk.
“The day following the EU referendum the Green Party called for the British people to have a further say on the details of any Brexit deal.
“We stand by that position and today we pledge to voters to go further.
“Our election manifesto will not only include a ratification referendum, it will also explicitly make the option to remain in the EU part of such a ratification referendum.
“Greens proudly and passionately campaigned to remain in the EU. And, unlike some, we’ve not changed our deeply held belief that we are better off in the EU…
“And while we’ve all learned to treat polls with extreme caution, it might just turn out to be significant that last week’s Yougov poll showed, for the first time, a majority of British people now oppose Brexit.
“And maybe that’s because the costs of Brexit are becoming clearer.
“Inflation is already rising as imported goods rise in price. Real wages are stagnating, investment is on hold. All these indicators will be worse by 2020 when the election was meant to take place.
“The referendum outcome last June was never supposed to be the final word. It was the beginning of a conversation.
“And this General Election is a chance to reflect on what we have learned since then….
“That Brexit is being used by the Tories to drive through an ideological agenda that champions deregulation and privatisation on an unprecedented scale. That people were lied to.
“That there is no £350 million each week for the NHS.
“That the PM has no intention of seeking to enable us to remain members of the Single Market.
“That immigration is unlikely to be controlled because, as David Davis has himself acknowledged, it’s necessary for our economy
“And indeed it’s become clearer than ever that immigration is not to blame for the lack of social housing, GP appointments or local jobs – government spending cuts are.
“What’s also become clear is that the official opposition has been no serious opposition at all. The Labour Party haven’t only given the Tories a blank cheque for a hard Brexit. They’ve given them a lift to the bank and helped them cash it in.
“If Labour had made the case for staying in the Single Market, they could have made common cause with other opposition parties, and together we could have had a chance to avoid this most extreme of Brexits.
“That was a tragically missed opportunity.
“Meanwhile their unconditional support for triggering Article 50 meant that the opportunity to secure some key safeguards was squandered
“Why would the Government listen to calls for an immediate guarantee for EU nationals living in the UK, or for a meaningful parliamentary vote, if the opposition had already made clear its intention to support Article 50 in any and all circumstances?
“The General Election makes a different bigger future possible and it’s crucial that voters are not lied to again.
“Brexit is not inevitable. The triggering of Article 50 is not irreversible. And we still believe we are better off as members of the EU. Greens see the bigger picture and what we stand up for matters.
“Not based on political expediency but based on principle and evidence.
“The Conservatives could have sought to unite the country by bringing leavers and remainers together.
“Instead they chose to sow more discord and division – they cannot be trusted…
“Our pledge is about standing up for young people too. For the generations that have most to lose if we cut ourselves loose from the EU.
“Greens want young people to have big opportunities and a big future. And that means the right to study, travel, work, live and love across the EU.
“A Green vote on June 8 is a chance to stay part of the EU because young people matter. A Green vote on June 8 is a chance to stay part of the EU because a resilient, diverse economy matters.
“And it’s a vote for the certainty that we will stick to our principles and use the negotiation period triggered by article 50 to fight for a deal that puts social and environmental justice first.
If the Government is so convinced that they’ll get a decent deal then there’s no reason that they wouldn’t trust people to have a final say.
“If the Government believes its own rhetoric about the will of the people they’ll respect that electorates are free to change their minds.
“This General Election changes everything and the choices we all make matter like never before.”
While Conservative MP, Simon Kirby, voted to trigger article 50 in February which gave the Prime Minister legal authority to leave the EU, Labour’s Hove MP Peter Kyle and Mrs Lucas voted against it.