Brighton MP backs second referendum to reverse ‘calamitous Brexit’

Posted On 03 Mar 2018 at 12:01 am

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.

“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 (on) 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 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 Mrs May made a speech about Brexit at the Mansion House, in London. She called for “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”.

The Prime Minister said that 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 her speech, Mr Bartley is expected to say: “The Green Party will not give up on staying close to Europe. We are proud to be campaigning for a 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 front bench: 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.”

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  1. Gerald Wiley Reply

    Well as the influence of the clueless Green activists on the UK will decrease after we leave the EU and their MEPs have to get new jobs, I’m totally in favour of BRexit and the the UK taking control of our own destiny.

    And good to see Scrappy Doo is loyally supporting his mistress 😉

  2. Paul Chandler Reply

    Well done Gerald for addressing the issues fair and square!! (irony)

    Brexit is being organised by a minority group (hard core brexiteers) within a minority Party (the Tories) after a referendum where a minority of voters (albeit a small majority of those who voted) supported a vague notion of ‘leaving the EU’ after a campaign of lies and misinformation.

    All Caroline is suggesting is that in a true democracy, we the voters should be involved in a decision of this magnitude by a referendum on the facts. If whatever deal is finally agreed is put to the voters and achieves a majority then I, for one, will accept the result.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      There was a referendum already where the majority of people decided that the country wanted to leave the EU. This was then put to parliament where the democratically elected members also agreed with this.

      As I understand it, the final agreement will have to be approved by our democratically elected government.

      That the blessed Caroline doesn’t want to accept this democratic decision is typical of the self-righteous, arrogant, attitude we have come to accept from the Greens who always seem to know what’s best for the “ignorant” populous.

      And please remember that for the UK to be able to renationalise industries, the same way that both Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas desire, requires us to no longer follow EU rules and be our own masters as currently all services have to be open to private tender.

      This might well explain why Jeremy also supports BRexit, but Caroline is more worried that her influence will be ever further eroded as we leave the EU, and the electorate realise there is little meaningful difference between the policies of Greens and Labour (other than the Greens being supported by incompetent, ideological activists), and she should just give up now and allow the Green Party to be absorbed into Labour.

  3. Joe Stains Reply

    ‘5 Homes’ Lucas is displaying the same mentality that the EU showed when Ireland voted not to join the Euro. The EU told that Irish that they had come-up with the ‘wrong’ result, and to go vote AGAIN, and this time make sure that they voted the ‘right’ way. They voted again, decided to join the Euro, and now Ireland’s economy is tanking…

  4. Paul Chandler Reply

    Two small points:
    1. Many EU countries have nationalised.industriws including trains and mail services.
    2. Ireland’s economy is not tanking.

  5. SamC Reply

    There is no point in a second referendum. Once a deal is agreed with the other EU 27 , whatever it is, the EU will have no appetite to change it. the |UK can’t go back to them and say the people did not like it. It will be take it or leave it… if we reject the deal then it is a HARD Brexit with NO deal.. As a remainer I don’t want to leave, but we must and we will.

  6. Leo Reply

    Correction – The EEC was a peace project; the EU evolved into something very different, hence folk voted out.

  7. Zalud Reply

    “ Yet more evidence that NSW Labor shouldn’t be allowed near power in Australia’s largest state for many years to come.” Fair point, and whenever I hear Bob Carr’s silky voice pronouncing himself the world’s greatest statesman all these years later after his “Bugger off, migrants, we’re full” statement, I still feel like throwing up. And NSW Labor is still at, siding with wealthy boomer home-owners in the inner west of Sydney in particular. Linda Burney herself, along with a lot of local inner west Labor royalty were at an anti development rally in Marrickville a couple of weekends ago holding up placards which (deciphered) read: “Go away, migrants, refugees and low income earners! You’re NOT welcome here!” But they are battling with the Greens in the “I’m more NIMBY than you” fight for selfish home-owners’ hearts and minds. It’s one Labor simply can’t win. The Greens, freed from the responsibility of doing anything practical about housing affordability, are the champions here.

  8. Barney Reply

    The people have spoken. Why can’t politicians accept that?

    Must we keep voting until we “get it right” according to the twisted views of politicians who think they know better than the people they’re supposed to serve?

    The EU was never good for Britain. It’s just a millionaires’ club and an attempt to recreate the Soviet Union, which was responsible for the deaths of between 60 and 100 million Russian citizens.

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