The Green Party today pledged to offer the nation a chance to vote to remain in the EU if they do not like the deal on offer at the end of the negotiation period between the UK and the EU. Co-leader, Caroline Lucas MP and Bristol West candidate, Molly Scott Cato MEP, pledged a ‘ratification referendum’ providing people a clear choice between accepting the deal on offer at the end of the Article 50 process or remaining a member of the EU.
They said this will not be a re-run of the in-out referendum but will be a vote about the ratification process. Speaking at the launch in London, Molly said:
“Greens believe that the people of the UK must be given an opportunity to have their say through a ratification referendum. It is a democratic requirement that when we get to the end of the negotiating process, and we see what Brexit really means, as opposed to a series of promises that cannot be fulfilled, we have a chance to decide whether that it better than continued EU membership.
“Take back control was the strap line which persuaded many to vote Leave in the referendum last year. It’s now clear what that meant. A power grab by the Tory right so they can make a bonfire of regulations which protect our rights and environment and an opportunity to hand control to powerful corporations and wealthy elites; turning us into a tax haven.
“A ratification referendum is the chance to give back control.”
Molly Scott Cato also hit out at Labour’s approach to Brexit:
“We should not be taken in by Labour’s apparently softer more considered approach to Brexit. Their message is confused and contradictory and still has some uncomfortable hard edges.
“Taking a tough stance on freedom of movement is incompatible with membership of the single market. If Labour believe, like the Tories, that the fundamental rules of the club – such as the four freedoms – will be bent or watered down to accommodate a hardline UK, they clearly do not understand how the EU works.
“Labour’s call for parliament to be given a truly meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal is welcome, but their reluctance to give British people the same right shows a blatant disregard for democracy.”
Molly added that voting Green will block hard Brexit, give people a real say on their future and offer a chance to vote to stay in the EU.
What is the policy?
The Green Party will hold a ‘ratification referendum’ on Brexit once the terms of a deal have been agreed with the EU. Like any commercial deal, that referendum will give the public two clear choices: stick with what we have, or sign up to the deal on offer. And like any deal we will make sure those affected are involved: a Green referendum would give 16 and 17 year olds the vote, making sure that they have a say over their future instead of having that decision made for them.