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With the likelihood that Theresa May’s deal with the European Union will be defeated in the House of Commons on Tuesday, the government has no plan B as to what to do with respect to Brexit. There is no majority in Parliament for a no-deal Brexit. Nor is there any agreement amongst MPs as to what to do next.

Since parliament is unable to decide what to do, and with there being only just 10 weeks before we crash out of the European Union on March 29th, the Greens believe that the only practical way of reaching a decisive answer on Brexit is to put the decision back to the people in another referendum. Despite all the claims that it is not practical, with the will to do it a referendum could be held within weeks. But it needs the support of the Labour party to hold one, and Jeremy Corbyn resolutely refuses to do so, despite over 80% of Labour Party members wanting one. That being the case, it is unlikely that the Labour party would win a general election in any case.

The Labour party policy on Brexit is just as incoherent and meaningless as the Conservative party policy. The idea of getting a general election before we leave the European Union is just pie in the sky because the government would never agree to it. It is equally ridiculous for the Labour party to say that if it were in government it would renegotiate a better deal with the European Union, when the EU has made it crystal clear many times that they will not renegotiate the deal.  So part of the problem has been and is that neither the Tories nor the Labour party are really listening to the EU, and it takes two to negotiate…..

Nobody except a small minority of hard Brexiters wants a hard no-deal Brexit. A second referendum would put the whole Brexit issue to bed decisively and immediately, without years of costly future negotiation and economic, social and environmental damage.

The government and Brexiters do not say how much the government’s inept Brexit process has already cost this country, but far from giving us a ‘dividend’, Brexit has already been and continues to be a vast cost to the government finances, probably billions of pounds, money which could and should have been spent on public services.

Bristol voted decisively to remain in the European Union, and whatever the result, Bristol Greens say that a second referendum is the only sensible and quick way of getting out of the mess which we have got ourselves in. Two and a half years after the referendum of June 2016, the public are much more aware of what Brexit will mean, and so it is right that the people, now much better informed, should have a second opportunity either to confirm their original close decision to leave the European Union, or to change their minds and stay within the EU. Democracy means having the right to change your mind, otherwise it is not a democracy.


Councillor Charlie Bolton

with support of other Green Councillors. and other members of Bristol Green Party



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