Times & Star Politics Column 14.12.18
19 January 2019
There's only one party undivided over the Brexit agreement. The Green Party has a clear vision. With the Conservatives in terminal meltdown and Labour officially calling only for a General Election but still anxious to deliver Brexit, the Green Party believes we should ask the people what they think now. A People's Poll on the current proposal, versus withdrawing Article 50 and cancelling the whole Brexit fiasco is the only way to solve the political chaos. We know that this is possible because the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has made a ruling that says so.
The people were made false promises and lied to by Brexit campaigners. They also acted illegally in surreptitiously overspending in their campaign, and played the racism card very cleverly. The Russians may also have meddled with the results through the subterfuge of social media. In our view these three things already invalidate the close referendum result, but it is certain that most people who voted leave didn't vote for the chaos and job losses, businesses going under, crisis for our NHS, families divided and environmental rules torn up. That was never the will of the people.
The Green Party has always argued for a second referendum, a people's poll or perhaps more eloquently a ratification by the people of whatever deal was agreed. At first we were ridiculed but now more than ever it is clear that that is the only way to decide what happens next.
The ECJ ruling means we are free to change our minds stay in and enjoy not just the significant benefits of membership but the unique benefits of the UK's advantageous membership and all of the opt-outs which come with it. It is clear that we don't have to choose between becoming poorer with May's deal or much poorer very quickly with No-Deal. Of course as I write this things are changing rapidly and who knows what will have happened by the time you read it, but a second referendum a ratification poll is still what will be needed, when we have a final deal.
Of course the EU has its faults, but then so does the English parliamentary system. Both are in need of reform. However it is better to be part of a larger group than a tiny island nation trying to trade on its own. The great trading forces of [sic] the world are the USA, China, Russia and the EU. Free trade to them means the ability to exploit weaker trading nations, to find new markets for their goods and to force those same weaker nations to accept poor pay for the goods they buy from us. That's why the Fairtrade movement grew up, to protect developing world countries from unfair and exploitative trading practices.
Much needs to change in the world as a whole, we need to wake up and recognise that climate change is a very real threat, that social media is not always a force for good, that terrorism exists on the black web and in reality. All those things are better tackled internationally. Why would we leave the multi-national group we are part of?
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