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Friday, 9th Feb 2018

Brexit update from Bristol's Green MEP

The new year has brought a new energy into the campaign for a Final Say referendum. There is some encouraging evidence that the tide is turning rapidly with many more people now questioning whether Brexit is turning out to be what they were promised. There are lots of analogies around, such as buying a car without looking under the bonnet or a house which when the survey arrives turns out to have subsidence. My favourite though is from Lord Lisvane. He asked his fellow peers about his nervous aunts who made a democratic decision to go to the cinema only to find out that the films on show were Reservoir Dogs and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Should they stick by their democratic decision or change their minds?
 
There has also been an increase in pressure on Labour to clarify their position and to spell out how it is possible to achieve a jobs-first Brexit while leaving the single market and customs union on which so many jobs depend. My Labour colleagues in the European Parliament are working hard with the TUC to move Labour's position on this. And if Jeremy Corbyn is really in favour of listening to his party's members then he should be supporting the Final Say referendum as well.
 
Bad Boys of Brexit

Last week I launched a website to expose the unholy alliance of men behind the campaign to leave the EU. The Bad Boys of Brexit website contains details of the coalition of far-right ideologues, climate change deniers, tax-dodging foreign billionaires and specialists in voter manipulation who successfully persuaded a majority of the public to vote to leave the EU. When brought together in this way it makes for frightening reading. But I also want this knowledge to be empowering and hope the information will strengthen our resolve to demand a Final Say on the deal with the EU, with an option to reverse Brexit and remain a member of the EU.
Further details here

See also my article here published by the i paper explaining why I have launched this website.

Those impact assessments…
For months I have been trying to get the government to release their studies into the economic impacts of Brexit. I believe we all need to know what the potential impacts of different courses of action are likely to be on the UK economy. I wrote letters and made Freedom of Information requests, all to no avail. Then, together with Jolyon Maugham of the Good Law Project I sought to force the government’s hand through the courts. While our request for judicial review has so far been refused we have now been listed for an oral hearing on March 6th which will allow us to make our case in court for a judicial review.

Meanwhile, the studies we think we were after were leaked to Buzzfeed last week, destined for sharing in one-to-one meetings between officials and government ministers. These showed that under every scenario, Brexit would hurt the economy, and that the regions who voted most strongly for Brexit are those that will take the biggest economic hit from the UK leaving the EU.

But rather than take any responsibility for the damaging shambles they are creating, the Brexiteers turned their fire on the Civil Service. Brexit minister Steve Baker rubbished the work of his own civil servants in the House of Commons and then, in an even more sinister move, Jacob Rees-Mogg questioned the independence of the Civil Service.

Because of the total lack of clarity over what studies have been carried out I am proceeding with legal action so that we can find out exactly what documents exist and, crucially, which it would be in the public interest to disclose.

Read my article in Left Foot Forward here about the secrecy and lies shrouding Brexit and how this is seriously undermining our democracy.

The Customs Union

The government has announced that it will seek to leave the customs union after Brexit. This will be hugely damaging to UK manufacturing industry and both the TUC and CBI are united in their belief that the UK must remain in the customs union. Labour seem as divided on this as the Tories. But 56% of potential Labour voters want the party to remain in both the customs union and the single market, with only 13% opposed.

See my Guardian article here in which I urge Labour to change tack.  

To sign up to recieve these Brexit updates please email media@mollymep.org.uk
 
Molly Scott Cato

Response to Mayors State of the City speech

Response to Mayor's 'State of the City' speech

Bristol's Green Mayoral Candidate responds to the Labour Mayor's unambitious 'State of the City' annual speech.

Green Councillors support Vision for future of Bristols parks

Green Councillors support Vision for future of Bristol’s parks

Green Councillors have endorsed the Parks Forum’s vision for the future of Bristol's Parks, and suggested some additional points.

Greens call for Review of Bristols HouseBuilding Plans

Greens call for Review of Bristol’s House-Building Plans

Sandy Hore-Ruthven, Green Party candidate for Mayor of Bristol is calling for the Mayor to announce a review of Bristol’s Housing strategy at his State of the City Speech [1] on Wednesday following the government’s announced intention to lift the borrowing cap for local authorities [2]. The cap currently dramatically limits councils from borrowing against their own existing housing stock to build new properties.

Green Councillors support calls to end immigration detention

Green Councillors support calls to end immigration detention

In 2017, 27,000 people entered indefinite immigration detention in the UK, many of them from Bristol.

Green Councillors oppose government plans to fast track fracking

Green Councillors oppose government plans to fast track fracking

Green and independent Councillors from across the West of England signed a response to the government’s twin consultations on fracking and fracking exploration at a demo in Bristol on Tuesday 9 October, urging the government to back down from its plan to make controversial fracking developments harder to challenge under planning law.

Greens call for caution on tall buildings  response to Urban Living consultation

Greens call for caution on tall buildings - response to Urban Living consultation

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Setting the record straight  the Lord Mayors car

Setting the record straight – the Lord Mayor’s car

Green councillors have expressed their disappointment with the tactics of Bristol’s Labour group after an ‘anonymous Labour source’ falsely claimed to the Bristol Post that Green Lord Mayor Cleo Lake had “demanded the purchase of one of the most expensive cars in the world”.

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This weekend Bristol shoppers and Greens joined campaigners from around the world in ‘plastic attacks’ to hand back their unneeded single use plastics to supermarkets across Bristol.

Letter Bristol Cllrs must vote against the proposed airport expansion

Letter: Bristol Cllrs must vote against the proposed airport expansion

We can all do our bit to help reduce the impact of climate change by choosing to walk and cycle more or fly less, but only politicians can make the big decisions that will decide whether our planet blossoms or burns. It is time they start treating climate change as the global emergency that it is.

Arena decision Why are we letting austerity dictate how our city should grow

Arena decision: Why are we letting austerity dictate how our city should grow?

You can’t shrink to greatness! But with the arena decision at cabinet last week that is what it feels like Bristol has done.

Bristol Greens to attend RiseForClimate rally in Bristol  8th September

Bristol Greens to attend #RiseForClimate rally in Bristol – 8th September

Alongside organisations in Bristol and in cities around the world, Bristol Green Party members and elected representatives will be demanding urgent action on climate change by taking part in the #RiseForClimate rally in Bristol on 8th September.

Green Group Leader Mayors arena decision shows contempt for democracy

Green Group Leader: Mayor's arena decision shows contempt for democracy

The day after he voted for a council motion supporting a Temple Meads location for Bristol's Arena, the city's Labour Mayor has scrapped the project altogether in a Cabinet meeting.

Opinion Bristol wants the arena on Arena Island

Opinion: Bristol wants the arena on Arena Island

Bristol Green Party's Deputy Coordinator writes for 24/7 about why the Mayor should listen and build the Arena on Arena Island.

Mayor should abide by council vote for Arena location

Mayor should ‘abide by’ council vote for Arena location

A majority of cross-party councillors have taken the unusual step of calling an extraordinary Council meeting to vote on the location of Bristol’s Arena, and demanding that the Mayor ‘abides by’ the decision made. The Arena’s future was due to be decided by the Mayor on Sept 4th. However, amid growing accusations that the Mayor’s decision may be biased (1), councillors have called for a free vote. The letter to the Mayor includes signatures from a majority of councillors, including signatures from all four political parties.

Listen Again to Molly Scott Catos speech at Bristols Peoples Vote rally

Listen Again to Molly Scott Cato's speech at Bristol's People's Vote rally

Why Arena island is still the best location for Bristols Arena

Why Arena island is still the best location for Bristol's Arena

The Mayor’s own Value for Money study showed that the arena will pay for itself, will add no burden to the public purse, will not impact on council services and will leave the city with a significant asset. The Mayor has acknowledged on a number of occasions, and most recently on BBC Points West last Thursday, that an arena at Temple Island would be affordable for the city.

5m cuts to special needs budget hidden from Council

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Bristol’s cabinet member for education and skills has been accused of misleading the council by hiding concerns around £5m of cuts to a special needs budget. A High Court judge has ruled that Bristol City Council did not properly consult over the cuts to the high needs block. Clive Stevens, Green councillor for Clifton Down, said: “It’s important that lessons are learned. The 2016 Bundred Review highlighted the need for councillors to be given clear information, but here in 2018 we had a £5m cut which was simply not shown in the budget papers." For the full article please see here>>

Checking the numbers on alternatives to the Bristol Arena

Checking the numbers on alternatives to the Bristol Arena

'Bristol deserves better than this' - Deputy group leader Jerome Thomas has a look at the numbers supporting the 'alternative development' at Temple Meads in place of an arena.

Green MEP to join Peoples March rally in Bristol this Saturday

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Greens discuss arena libraries and racism on politics podcast

Greens discuss arena, libraries, and racism on politics podcast

Catch up on the Green appearances on Bristol Live's local politics podcast.

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Remove abandoned billboards that blight our city

A local Green councillor for Clifton Down in Bristol has successfully applied for an unsightly abandoned billboard on Whiteladies Road to be removed.

BBC must refuse airtime to organisations lacking funding transparency

BBC must refuse airtime to organisations lacking funding transparency

In the wake of revelations that right-wing think tank, the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), offered potential US donors “cash for access” to Conservative ministers, Bristol's Green MEP Molly Scott Cato has launched a petition calling on the BBC to stop giving airtime to organisations whose funding is not transparent.

Help protect 20mph limits around your home

Help protect 20mph limits around your home

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Bristol can’t wait decades for action on climate change

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Why we need to preserve our 20mph city

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Exposing the Mafialike organisations behind Brexit

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Personally I feel very strongly about my rights as a European being taken away. My entire heritage is elsewhere in Europe and losing the right to visit, live or work across the travel area with my EU passport is distressing.

Group leader responds to the Mayors Annual Speech

Group leader responds to the Mayor's Annual Speech

"We’ve heard a lot of beautiful words today, we keep hearing a lot of beautiful words, but the gulf between those words and the reality of the actions I see, and what people around me experience, is so huge that I can’t be silent"

Dangerous parking is putting peoples lives at risk

Dangerous parking is putting people’s lives at risk

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