Green Party Brexit announcement

By   May 2, 2017

What is happening?

On Tuesday 2nd May at 10.30am at Space Studios in Hackney Caroline Lucas and Molly Scott Cato MEP will announce that, if elected, a Green government will give the British people the chance to vote to Remain in Europe once they have seen the Brexit deal agreed with the EU.

What’s the message?

Theresa May is trying to sell the British public a Brexit deal that Del Boy would be proud of.

In no business would you commit yourself to a deal you have never seen. You can read the contract before you buy insurance. You always have two weeks to return a product you’ve bought but realise you don’t like or need. Phone contracts can be cancelled or changed. And yet, when it comes to making a decision over the future of our country, May has said we must leave Europe, regardless of the terms on which we do so.

The Green Party will hold a second 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 actually have a say over their future instead of having that decision made for them.

Where are we hosting the launch?

The Space Studios, 129-131 Mare Street, London, E8 3RH.

Why are we hosting it there?

Space Studios have received a £1m grant from the European Union Regional Development Fund to support their growth from 2014-2020. Space Studios are representative of the kind of industry that is going to be particularly impacted by Brexit: modern, creative, and innovative. Space not only provide literal space for artists to showcase their work, they offer training and bursaries to emerging artists to help set them up in what is a competitive industry. Before we dive into Brexit it is only fair that we ask if the deal on the table is worth the risk imposed on these exciting enterprises.

What’s the key phrase?

Theresa May is trying to sell the British public a Brexit deal that Del Boy would be proud of.

You are undermining democracy

It is not undermining democracy to ask the public their views. It is not undemocratic to expect that the public be given all the facts before asking them to make a major decision. It’s not undemocratic to give the people affected by a decision the right to vote. If you deny the chance of a second referendum, you deny the public a say and you stifle the debate.

But the polls show people want the government to get on with Brexit

The polls show that the country is as divided now as it was on June 23rd. And part of the reason is that we still do not have all the facts about what Brexit will look like. It is only right, sensible, and proper that we ask their public in another referendum once those facts have come to light.

Can 16 and 17 year-olds be trusted?

Out there right now there are 16 and 17 year olds caring for their siblings, their parents, and grandparents. There are 16 and 17 year olds out at work supporting the rest of their family at home. There are 16 and 17 year olds volunteering for charities, campaigns, and community groups. The decision to leave the EU will affect them far more than it will Farage, Boris Johnson, or Theresa May. They must have a say.

But Caroline voted for the referendum to happen and you campaigned for it

That’s absolutely right. We voted for a referendum because we hoped that it would be an open and informed debate. No one could argue that is what happened – from the lies over NHS funding to the hate that exploded after the vote on June 23rd, this was not an election campaign we can look back on with pride.

And for that reason, we as a party regret our decision to hold that referendum and wish that better safeguards had been put in place before it happened.

But we are where we are and we have to deal with the result handed to us. We will make a bad situation worse if we rush into Brexit, if we fail to give the public a say over whether to accept the final deal offered to us by the EU, and if we give no time for a proper debate about Britain’s future.

We’ve triggered article 50. Isn’t it all over?

Article 50 triggered negotiations and that is it. Negotiations come before a final deal, not after.

But what mechanism could you use to reverse Brexit?

Firstly, this is not purely about reversing Brexit – it’s about ensuring that the public gets a real say over whether we will accept Brexit given the terms of the final deal. They may still choose to Leave at that point.

On the specific point though, the President of the Commission Jean Claude Juncker has said it can be reversed and it is clear that the EU would help us to perform that change in strategy as would no doubt be in their interests.

You are just Remoaners

Giving people labels is the opposite of the constructive debate about Britain’s future that we are interested in.

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