"We must heal our divided communities"

19 July 2016

CEGP Convenor John KnightPeople in Britain are angry – and they expressed that anger last week by voting to leave the EU.  The result was extremely close - here in Cheshire East, votes were split very nearly 50/50 - and millions throughout the UK, especially younger people, supported our continued EU membership. But the most important thing now is healing our divided communities.

If this referendum has shown one thing clearly, it is that the old Labour/Tory two-party system is not representing people’s views.  We call on all sides to come together to fix our democracy here in Britain – starting with electoral reform for the House of Commons.  The democratic deficit will not be fixed by leaving the EU – we need to look closer to home, too.

What worries us now is the fate of the many Europeans living here. The Leave campaign said they will be able to stay – and we expect them to honour that. But what about people who have made plans to come here to join family, or British people who have saved up for a lifetime to move to Spain? The prospect of shutting down the right to free movement is frightening, as are the consequences of a campaign that has at times pitted neighbours against one another, whipped up fear and allowed lies and myths to take the place of truth.

Many leading Leave campaigners are climate sceptics and believe that laws and regulations that safeguard workers’ rights and protect the environment are simply ‘red tape’ preventing business competitiveness.

Greens will mobilise alongside trade unions, environmental groups, grassroots activists and others to defend our hard-won rights at work, our freedom of movement and environmental protections. We will look for ways to work together across borders with people who share our vision for a better Europe.

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