9 December 2016
Commenting on last night’s vote in the House of Commons in which the government won a majority for triggering Article 50 by the end of March next year, Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP and the Green Party’s Brexit speaker, said:
“Conservatives and Labour have joined forces to push the boat out into extremely choppy waters with numerous obstacles on route, and with no idea of where they will drop anchor.
“I am delighted the Green Party's MP, Caroline Lucas, voted against locking Britain into invoking article 50 without any guarantee of specific plans; no idea where Brexit Britain is heading, and based on an arbitrary timetable.
“It is regrettable that only one Labour MP in the South West voted against what amounts to giving the government a blank cheque for a hard Brexit. Perhaps, given how rudderless Labour are as an opposition, we should not be surprised by the fact that a majority of their MPs supported the government. None-the-less, it is disappointing that Labour MPs from cities like Bristol, which strongly backed remaining in the EU, chose to ignore their constituents.
“Like Caroline Lucas, I am not prepared to hand over our economy and environment to hard-line Brexiteers who have set the compass towards tearing up important environmental legislation, removing us from the single market and embarking on a race to the bottom on tax rates and workers’ rights. The vote to leave the EU didn’t give the government this mandate.
“Greens have a very different destination in mind: we want to maintain the closest possible relationship with our European neighbours; remain in the single market; defend the rights of UK and EU citizens wherever they choose to live and be offered a say on the final deal proposed by the government and the EU. Last night’s vote guarantees none of these things.”