In a letter to the Bristol Post, Bristol’s Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato celebrates the “strength of grass-roots pro-European movements in Bristol and their strong and consistent opposition to the government” while also highlighting how “Labour are hopelessly divided over Brexit and Article 50”.
The full letter reads:
The decision by Thangham Debbonaire and Kerry McCarthy to vote against the triggering of Article 50 is testimony to the strength of grass-roots pro-European movements in Bristol and their strong and consistent opposition to the government. (http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/a-second-bristol-mp-confirms-they-will-vote-against-article-50/story-30102379-detail/story.html ) In particular, the ‘Bristol For Europe’ group with its thousands of active supporters, including many local Greens, have been key to pressuring our local Labour MPs to defy Corbyn’s dictate.
However, Labour are hopelessly divided over Brexit and Article 50. Greens on the other hand have been clear throughout: we cannot support leaving the single market and customs union and we strongly oppose turning the UK into Europe’s biggest tax haven. We will not support triggering article 50 without clear guarantees on worker and consumer rights and safeguarding our environment. We are also clear on the need for a ‘ratification referendum’ so that the final deal agreed between the EU and the UK can be put to the people. This is something that Labour still refuses to support.
This government is moving us towards the cliff edge of hard Brexit, but it is Labour that seem willing to push us off. The refusal of a small number of Labour MPs to defy Corbyn on Article 50 is to be welcomed but the Party’s failure to oppose the government on this the most critical of issues plays into the hands of the Tory Right.
Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West
European Parliament – Brussels