Reacting to the news that the UK has voted to leave the EU, Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:
“People in Britain are angry – and they’ve expressed that anger today by voting to leave the EU. The most important task at hand now is unifying our divided communities. Our party will now mobilise alongside the Trade Unions, environmental groups and others to defend our hard-won rights at work and environmental protections.
If this referendum has shown one thing to be clear it is that the old political party system is not representing people’s views. Politics in the UK is synthetically bound to the Tories and Labour – that’s clearly failing. We’re calling on all sides to come together to fix our democracy here in Britain – starting with electoral reform for the House of Commons. The democratic deficit will not be fixed by leaving the EU – we need to look closer to home too.
What worries us now is the fate of the many Europeans living here. The Leave campaign said they will be able to stay – and we expect them to honour that. But what about people who have made plans to come here to join family, or British people who have saved up for a lifetime to move to Spain? The prospect of shutting down the right to free movement is frightening, as are the consequences of a campaign that has at times pitted neighbours against one another, whipped up fear and allowed lies and myths to take the place of truth. Britain deserves better and I am pledging anew to fight against division on behalf of my constituents.”
Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, said:
“We cannot hide our disappointment at this result having campaigned strongly for a vote to Remain. But, we have to listen to the expressed view of the British people. We must now turn our attention to the task at hand: unifying our divided communities after an extraordinarily bitter period in British politics.
The level of alienation against our mainstream politics is evident in this vote. The public have today rejected the views of the parties represented by 98% of our MPs in Westminster.
There is a very clear division in the results, with very different votes in different parts of Britain. We need to listen to the generally more economically disadvantaged communities who have voted to leave, and take real action to improve their conditions as soon as possible.
And with our sister party in Scotland launching a petition for a reconsideration of Scotland’s relationship with the EU, we need to acknowledge that the vote there was very different to that in England and Wales.”