Brexit

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What is Keith’s view on Brexit?

On 23 June 2016, a small majority of British people voted to leave the European Union. Keith passionately campaigned for a Remain vote in the EU referendum, outlining how our membership of the EU has made us greener, stronger and safer, and felt a profound sense of disappointment at the result.

More than one year later, despite being promised strong and stable leadership, what we have is a weak and wobbly minority government that threatens to hurl Britain towards a dystopian future for which most people did not vote.

As a Green, Keith will be working to maintain the closest possible relationship with our European neighbours because our economy, our environment and our communities are best served by working across borders.

What is Keith’s plan following the vote?

To ensure social, environmental and economic justice Keith is fighting for five “Green Guarantees” alongside his Green MEP colleagues.

Environment

A guarantee that important environmental laws safeguarding our air and water, protecting animals and wildlife habitats, supporting our food and farming sectors and governing our renewable energy targets will be kept or strengthened. Greens call for a new Environmental Protection Act, a new Clean Air Act, and a reformed farming subsidy scheme that puts sustainable agriculture first. These protections must be legally enforced.

Free Movement

A guarantee that the rights of all EU nationals living in the UK and all UK citizens living in the EU will be upheld; we cannot let Brexit break up families and tear apart our communities. Greens believe in defending the principle of Free Movement; a right that millions of UK and EU citizens enjoy. The Government must also uphold its moral and legal duties towards refugees in the face of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis; we must reverse our decision to abandon child refugees.

Young People

A guarantee that young people will continue to enjoy the freedom to travel, study and work across Europe and access to EU-funded schemes such as Erasmus and student exchanges.

Tax and Trade

A guarantee that the UK will not engage in a race to the bottom on tax rates, workers’ rights or consumer protections. We want cast iron assurances that the Government will not sign Britain up to damaging new international trade deals that hand power to multinational corporations. As Greens we believe that the protection of jobs, the environment, and workers’ rights is most easily achieved by remaining inside the single market.

Democracy

A guarantee of electoral and constitutional reform. The EU referendum was supposed to signal the start of a democratic process and Greens believe now is the time for democratic renewal. We want a Great Reform Bill, to deliver a fair and proportional election system, reform of the House of Lords, to combat its democratic deficit, and a written constitution.

Useful information

In April 2017, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the EU’s negotiations with the UK, setting out the European Parliament’s priorities and red lines in anticipation of the Council’s negotiating guidelines. Citizens’ rights were the main concern, especially for the Greens/EFA group to which Keith belongs, who were very active in the drafting.

Keith’s Green colleague Jean Lambert MEP has published a factsheet on the legal rights of EU nationals currently living in the UK.

Written by Colin Yeo, barrister at Garden Court Chambers, it answers several of the most commonly-asked questions in these uncertain times following the vote to leave the European Union.

It becomes clearer every day that much of what was promised by the Leave side simply cannot be made real, as is being well documented by Vote Leave Watch. Keith’s colleague Molly Scott Cato MEP is a patron of this cross-party campaign which aims to hold the Vote Leave campaign to account for the claims made during the referendum campaign.

Information compiled by Citizens Advice: Brexit – how it affects you

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