The Green Party will today pledge to offer the nation a chance to vote to remain in the EU if they do not like the deal on offer at the end of the negotiation period between the UK and the EU. Co-leader, Caroline Lucas MP and Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, will pledge a ‘ratification referendum’ providing people a clear choice between accepting the deal on offer at the end of the Article 50 process or remaining a member of the EU .
Greens say this will not be a re-run of the in-out referendum but will be a vote about the ratification process. Speaking at the launch in London, Dr Scott Cato will say:
“Greens believe that the people of the UK must be given an opportunity to have their say through a ratification referendum. It is a democratic requirement that when we get to the end of the negotiating process, and we see what Brexit really means, as opposed to a series of promises that cannot be fulfilled, we have a chance to decide whether that it better than continued EU membership.
“Take back control was the strap line which persuaded many to vote Leave in the referendum last year. It’s now clear what that meant. A power grab by the Tory right so they can make a bonfire of regulations which protect our rights and environment and an opportunity to hand control to powerful corporations and wealthy elites; turning us into a tax haven.
“A ratification referendum is the chance to give back control.”
Molly Scott Cato will also hit out at Labour’s approach to Brexit. She will say:
“We should not be taken in by Labour’s apparently softer more considered approach to Brexit. Their message is confused and contradictory and still has some uncomfortable hard edges.
“Taking a tough stance on freedom of movement is incompatible with membership of the single market. If Labour believe, like the Tories, that the fundamental rules of the club – such as the four freedoms – will be bent or watered down to accommodate a hardline UK, they clearly do not understand how the EU works.
“Labour’s call for parliament to be given a truly meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal is welcome, but their reluctance to give British people the same right shows a blatant disregard for democracy.”
Molly Scott Cato will say that voting Green will block hard Brexit, give people a real say on their future and offer a chance to vote to stay in the EU.
Tony Dyer, the Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Bristol South commented,
“During the referendum campaign, people were required to make a simplistic binary choice on a complex issue that will have a dramatic impact on their futures and their children’s futures. In the build up to making this choice, once again they were badly let down by the general standard of debate from politicians on both sides. As a result, people were forced to vote based on speculation and hype rather than hard facts.
But when the final deal is produced at the end of the Article 50 negotiations, it will be there in black and white, for all to see – although it is unlikely to be splashed across the side of a bus.
To leave the decision on whether to accept or reject this deal solely in the hands of those same politicians who failed to provide us with the standard of debate we needed during the EU referendum would be an abandonment of our responsibilities as citizens. That is why, the people of Bristol, and the country at large, should be given the right to vote on whether to ratify the resulting deal before it goes to parliament.
We, the people, need to take back control of our future. We, the people, need a ratification referendum to do that.”
 Details of ratification referendum pledge
At 10.30am tomorrow, Tuesday 2nd May, Caroline Lucas MP and Molly Scott Cato MEP will announce the Green Party policy on a further referendum. The announcement will be made at Space Studios in Hackney – a space benefitting from a £1m EU grant to support emerging artists through their training and bursary schemes, as well as the provision of gallery space.
WHAT is the policy?
The Green Party will hold a ‘ratification referendum’ on Brexit once the terms of a deal have been agreed with the EU. Like any commercial deal, that referendum will give the public two clear choices: stick with what we have, or sign up to the deal on offer. And like any deal we will make sure those affected are involved: a Green referendum would give 16 and 17 year olds the vote, making sure that they have a say over their future instead of having that decision made for them.
Molly Scott Cato is Green MEP for the South West of England and Gibraltar and is one of 50 Green/EFA MEPs in the European Parliament. She sits on the Economics and Monetary Affairs Committee, PANA committee investigating tax evasion and the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. Molly is parliamentary candidate for Bristol West in the June 8th general election.