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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Brexit: Green Guarantees

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March 2017. Publication of the UK Green MEPs.

Download Brexit: Green Guarantees here (paper copies available on request). Full text of publication below:

Brexit: Green Guarantees
– working for the best deal for you post-referendum

Twelve per cent of London’s population are from other EU countries. Around thirteen per cent of the five million jobs in London – 600,000 jobs – are held by such workers. What would London be without these European citizens, who contribute so vastly to our city’s economic, social and cultural life?

Many key employment rights enjoyed by British workers originated in Brussels. Imagine if the right to paid annual leave, health and safety protection at work and parental leave didn’t exist?

80% of all environmental laws in the UK including vital rules pushing the Government to reduce air pollution in London and the UK come from the EU. What if those rules were torn-up? What kind of city, country and planet would we inhabit?

As the UK readies itself to leave the European Union, I will fight to ensure you are as protected as possible from the ill effects of Brexit.

I will work to uphold vital EU workers and environmental safeguards and I will continue to push for free movement in Europe: to ensure the rights of our other EU citizens are guaranteed here together with the rights of UK nationals living elsewhere in the EU.

Leaving the EU should not mean turning our back on our neighbours, our global responsibilities, and our planet. The end deal should not reduce the important protections we have or make us a trade and tax paradise for big business. As an MEP, I get a vote on that final deal. Shouldn’t UK citizens also be asked if they think it’s good enough?

Greens cannot sign up to Theresa May’s extreme Brexit.

To ensure social, environmental and economic justice your Green MEPs are fighting for five Green Guarantees:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

We are also calling for a ‘ratification’ referendum.
The government has little or no idea what the alternatives to EU membership will look like. All we do know is that they are leading us towards an extreme form of Brexit which could result in the UK exiting the EU without any deal in place. It is therefore only right and democratic that the people of the UK have an opportunity to accept or reject the future that is on offer at the end of the two-year Article 50 process through a further ‘ratification’ referendum.

Download Brexit: Green Guarantees here.

Email jeanlambert@greenmeps.org.uk to request paper copies.

ENDS