Brexit bill: Greens blast MPs for failing to stand up for Parliamentary democracy

UK Green MEPs, Molly Scott Cato, Jean Lambert, and Keith Taylor have issued a stinging condemnation of British MPs after Theresa May’s Brexit bill denying Parliament any real say in the process sailed through the Commons .

The Prime Minister rejected calls for MPs to have a meaningful role in shaping the proposed divorce deal. The government, instead, confirmed that the parliamentarians elected to represent the British and Northern Irish people will only be offered a ‘take it or leave it’ vote on the final deal.

UK Green MEPs, who will get an opportunity to play a part in the EU’s negotiating process and cast a significant vote on the final terms of the deal, hit out at the Government for undermining the sovereignty of the UK Parliament.

Molly Scott Cato MEP, the Green Party’s Brexit spokesperson and MEP for the South West, said:

“I am delighted that 122 MPs voted against the Brexit bill. With Labour, Lib Dem, SNP, and Plaid Cymru MPs joining Green MP Caroline Lucas to reject the Bill unamended, we have seen a progressive alliance against the government’s plans for an extreme Brexit.

However, while the government is moving us towards the hard Brexit cliff edge, it is Labour that seems willing to push us off. The Party has shown itself hopelessly divided and the failure to oppose the government on this the most critical of issues has played straight into the hands of the Tory Right.

Greens have been clear throughout: we cannot support triggering a process that will see the UK leave the single market and customs union and threatens to turn us into Europe’s biggest tax haven. We need clear guarantees on worker and consumer rights and assurances there will be no weakening of environmental protections.”

Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, said:

“It’s outrageous that MPs appear grateful to be offered a vote on the final deal, rather than demanding this as a Parliamentary right. How bizarre that, as an MEP, I am guaranteed a right to vote on this but my MP has to plead for the privilege. And if my elected representative in UK Parliament has to plead, what say will the public get? The sidelining of Parliament and the British people is unacceptable.

The UK Parliament has chosen to set out little clear guidance for the Government on content or process: on what basis will MPs judge the final deal?”

Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for the South East and a plaintiff in so-called ‘Dublin Case‘, said:

“Theresa May has justified her riding roughshod over Parliamentary democracy by claiming the British people have united to back Brexit. They haven’t. Far from it. The mandate for an extreme Brexit is non-existent. According to the latest polls, just 39% of the British public support the Prime Minister’s vision of an extreme Brexit. Meanwhile, 48% of people want Britain to either remain a member of the EU or, at least, maintain a close relationship with our European neighbours.

Yet the Government has confirmed that it will only offer MPs a Hobson’s choice: the UK either leaves the single market and negotiates a new deal with the EU or ends up with no deal at all, in which case the Government promises to make the country a tax haven outside Europe.

I know we can do better than this. Which is why I am fighting in the courts for the British people to be given the choice they are being denied. The EU referendum should have been the start of a democratic process, not the end of one. As Greens, we believe the British people should have the final say on the Brexit deal, once it is clear what the outcome of the negotiations are.”