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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEPs accuse Theresa May of “running scared” of European Parliament

Green members of the European Parliament from across Europe

8 September 2017

The UK’s three Green MEPs have responded to news that Theresa May has refused an invitation to address the European Parliament, insisting she will only talk to Parliamentary leaders behind closed doors.

Jean Lambert, MEP for London said:

“We’re meant to be transforming into a brave, new ‘global Britain’. However, our Prime Minister runs scared whenever she is invited to make her case in public. Theresa May’s refusal to address the European Parliament is yet another signal that her political mandate is hanging by a thread.

“Perhaps it has slipped her mind that Members of the European Parliament will be voting on the final Brexit deal? If May doesn’t convince us that she has softened her stance on issues such as citizens’ rights, Green MEPs – and many others – will reject any agreement put to us in 2019. She would do well to involve us in discussions, rather than shutting herself away behind closed doors.”

Keith Taylor, MEP for the South East, said:

“May lives in fear of scrutiny, especially when it comes to the Tory government’s variously magical thinking and entirely contradictory aims and claims on Brexit. If we weren’t governed by democracy, it’d almost be understandable that she doesn’t want to lay out the Brexit shambles for all to see.

“The first rule of negotiations is: you’ve got to show up. If May can’t even be bothered to speak to us, how she expects to get a deal through the European Parliament is beyond me.”

Molly Scott Cato, MEP for the South West and Green Party speaker on Brexit, said:

“Theresa May might be in the habit of shutting out democratic debate in her own Parliament, but ultimately she will have to face down the European Parliament.

“Admittedly, her extreme Brexit plans and the disdain her ministers have shown towards EU negotiators means this is going to be a hard sell. But she would be wise to put some energy into trying to get MEPs on side. Perhaps with her Party in a state of civil war over Brexit and her own position precarious in the extreme, she realizes she is in no position to lecture the European Parliament on her reckless Brexit shambles.”