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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEP criticises UKIP for “bunking off early” during Brexit debate

3 October 2017

This morning, cross-party MEPs voted in agreement that there has not yet been sufficient progress in three key areas – citizens’ rights, Northern Ireland, and the financial settlement – to move onto the next phase of Brexit negotiations. [1]

Notably, the majority of UKIP representatives in the European Parliament decided to leave the plenary debate early rather than listening to responses from other MEPs.

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP, criticised their absence and stated that walking away without a deal will damage the UK’s future relationship with the European Union.

A full transcript of Jean’s speech is below, and the video available here.

“Thank you President. I have to say that at some points this morning this debate has taken me back to my teaching days where you used to get the occasional pupil that would behave so badly they wanted to be thrown out of your lesson, because they felt that way they would have an easy time and not have to do any work. I see some have bunked off early today.

So, let’s say here, that this is a serious set-up. It’s a serious negotiation, and one where we do want an ongoing relationship. Some of us would like the same one, but that isn’t on the table. So we have to ask whether walking away actually makes this a serious relationship. And no, it doesn’t. Continuing to say that no deal is better than a bad deal, or no deal is ok, is not a serious outcome. And does all of that show to other countries that you want to be a trusted partner in future negotiations? No, it doesn’t. Let’s also be clear that paying what you promised to pay is not a punishment – it’s also about keeping your word. Thank you.”