As your MEP I know how much heartache and distress Brexit is causing. Greens believe we would have a brighter future inside the EU but we also hear the cry of those who voted to leave.
I will be fighting for clear guarantees on worker and consumer rights and assurances there will be no weakening of environmental protections after Brexit.
At the end of the negotiations, we think the British people should have the right to decide if the deal on the table is better than continued EU membership, in a ratification referendum.
What’s my plan following the vote to leave the EU?
1. Work to heal divided communities
The referendum campaign has left painful divisions which need to be healed. This will involve an acknowledgement from Leave voters that the EU is not the cause of all their problems. Job insecurity, our housing crisis, a crumbling NHS and massive cuts to public services are the result of years of austerity and government policy, not our membership of the EU.
Equally, Remain voters must accept that the EU is far from perfect and needs radical reform to be truly democratic and representative. Greens have always believed another Europe is possible and have long campaigned for reform of the EU’s institutions.
What must surely unite both Leave and Remain campaigners is the desire to fix our broken democracy. Join me in helping to unite divided communities by defending the rights of UK and EU citizens across the EU and fighting for a fair voting system so that every vote counts.
2. Work to hold this government to account
Theresa May is pushing for an extreme form of Brexit. Removing us from the single market and threatening a ‘bonfire of regulations’ will put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk, threaten workers’ and consumers rights and tear up environmental protections.
It also become clear that much of what was promised by the Leave side simply cannot be made real, as is being well documented by Vote Leave Watch. I’m a patron of this cross-party campaign which aims to hold the Vote Leave campaign to account for the claims made during the referendum campaign.
With all this in mind, I, like Green MP Caroline Lucas, refused to support the triggering of Article 50 – the formal process for the UK to leave the EU – without specific guarantees and a clear plan of what a post-Brexit Britain will look like.
Without these guarantees, Brexit risks turning the UK into a meaner, less tolerant, and poorer country; a country where our environmental standards and rights as workers and consumers are sacrificed on the altar of trade deals and competition. It will also leave communities that strongly supported leaving the EU economically worse off and with less social and environmental protection.
3. Work to ensure we can have a say over our shared future
The Brexit process has to be inclusive and enable people to have a real say over their own future.
Once the government has managed to negotiate a deal with our European neighbours, we owe it to millions of people to offer them a say on their own destiny.
For this reason, I fully support a ‘ratification referendum’ on the terms of the deal agreed between the UK and the EU, providing an opportunity for people to accept or reject this deal.