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Brexit – What Next?

A message from former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett

People in Britain are angry at the status quo – and they’ve expressed that anger by voting to leave the EU. We cannot hide our disappointment at this result having campaigned strongly for a vote to Remain. But, we must now turn our attention to the task at hand: unifying our divided communities after an extraordinarily bitter period in British politics. We cannot allow the problems of racism, inequality and alienation that have, at times, been worsened by this campaign to grow.

The referendum campaign was carried out in a manner which does a disservice to the people of Britain. It was a Tory leadership campaign fought out over an issue of huge importance to this country and to Europe. People will have been turned off politics to an even greater degree than before. To help fix this democratic deficit we need electoral reform for the House of Commons to help build a more representative, inclusive democracy.

During the campaign the Green Party repeatedly stood up for migrants much more boldly than any other party, and are hugely concerned that this country’s commitment to the free movement of people is now in peril. We pledge to continue to stand up for migrants and to demonstrate how the free movement of people has enriched not impoverished people’s lives both in Britain and beyond. Please stand with us, and pledge to be a part of that campaign now.

Our party will now mobilise alongside the trade unions, environmental groups and others to defend our hard-won rights at work and environmental protections. Greens will not allow this shock to destroy what we hold dear, and we will redouble our efforts to protect our NHS and public services from privatisation and both safeguard and enhance environmental protections.

Many people have been joining the Green Party in the time since the result emerged. Now is a good time to ask sympathetic friends, colleagues and family to consider doing the same, to join the struggle to protect our hard won gains in coming months and years.

Please feel free to share your thoughts with me about where the UK goes from here: you can reach us directly on leader@greenparty.org.uk.

 

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TTIP- What does it mean for Tamworth?

Many people are still unaware of TTIP (The transatlantic trade and investment partnership) and even fewer are aware of what it means for them. So here are a few reasons that you should be fighting against TTIP.

1. Food standards. TTIP will potentially force the EU to allow the use of pesticides it has banned and allow higher levels of legal pesticides than presently allowed. As the negative effects of increasing chemical usage have become apparent over recent decades it is obvious that we need to be REDUCING not increasing the use of chemicals on our food. The intensive methods driven by a few chemical companies will ensure this cannot happen if TTIP is approved.

2. Employment and job security. The EU has admitted that TTIP will cost jobs but the most frightening aspect is the adoption of US employment laws which are known to be amongst the worst in the world. This will erode the benefits gained from hundreds of years of fighting for laws to protect EU workers and leave them increasingly open to zero hour contracts and other unfair working practices.

3. Democracy. With the likes of Christopher Pincher ignoring the people of Tamworth on issues like foxhunting it may feel like democracy is distant already at times, but at present parliament is free to make laws as it sees fit without the direct interference of big business. TTIP will allow big corporations to sue governments that pass laws that are deemed to be against their business. So tobacco companies could sue the government for introducing smoking bans as it would affect their
revenue.

4. Last, but not by any stretch least, the NHS and education. TTIP allows for the opening up of the NHS and our schools to American companies. This would mean that your taxes go into the pockets of rich investors instead of funding the vital services we all rely upon. It also means that the public no longer have a say in the services that they are paying for through their taxes.

Join the fight today and let Christopher Pincher know that he does not have the right to sign away the rights that past generations fought to achieve for us.

Help us to protect their legacy!

Further reading:

Europe for the Common Good

This evening the second closed Euro debate took place on BBC2. Unlike Nick and Nigel the Green Party don’t think Europe should be reduced to a shouting match.

Only the Green Party is delivering the right kind of change in Europe.

In response to tonight’s closed debate the Green Party released their party election broadcast ‘Europe for the Common Good’.

The ‘debate’ tonight presented a simplistic picture of our place in Europe. The Green Party believe that people deserve more from their politicians.

Only the Greens are offering a viable alternative to our dysfunctional relationship with Europe. It is not all or nothing – and they understand that.

Europe is good for the UK. But it is not perfect – it needs to change and put people and planet before business-as-usual.

This is what the Greens are doing in Europe and what they will continue to deliver for the UK.

Three ‘yeses’ on Europe

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said today that the Green Party stood for “Three Yeses – yes to a referendum, yes to major EU reform and yes to staying in a reformed Europe”.

Natalie urged people to consider the first “Yes” in a different context to David Cameron’s promise of a referendum – only if the Conservatives win a majority in the 2015 election – which has more to do with political game-playing and trying to hold together a deeply divided party that is failing in government.

The Green leader said: “The Green Party believes in democracy and self-determination. On important issues like this, voters should be given the opportunity to express a clear view.”

On a reformed EU, the Green Party believes that decisions should be made at the lowest possible appropriate level, closest to the lives of the people it affects. It supports democratic decision-making – not the imposition of dictats from above, such as the austerity that has been forced on the people of many states in south Europe.

Natalie added: “‘Yes to the EU’ does not mean we are content with the union continuing to operate as it has in the past. There is a huge democratic deficit in its functioning, a serious bias towards the interests of neoliberalism and ‘the market’, and central institutions have been overbuilt. But to achieve those reforms we need to work with fellow EU members, not try to dictate high handedly to them, as David Cameron has done.”

On ‘yes to staying in a reformed Europe’, the Green Party believes Great Britain should not abandon the European Union, but instead work from inside to make it into a fair and democratic union rather than just a vehicle for international trade.

The European Union is well placed to enact policies on crucial issues such as human and workers’ rights, climate change and international crime. It is through EU regulation that our renewable energy targets have been set and hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created.

European action on air pollution, meanwhile, is forcing the British government to take the issue seriously, and the EU is leading the way on a financial transactions tax while Britain, in the grip of the City, resists.

Natalie concluded: “We need to continue to work with our European partners to build strong, locally democratic communities that decide their own way within the framework of minimum standards on workers’ and consumer rights, the environment, and on human rights – and which work together to build a more peaceful and sustainable world.”