On 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union. I wanted to remain part of the EU – as did 60% of people who voted in my constituency of London. In the wake of the bitterly divisive campaign, I felt a profound sense of disappointment at the result.
Since then, it has become increasingly clear that exiting the EU will be a gargantuan task – often at odds with the national interest. Worryingly, the UK Government has repeatedly failed to demonstrate that it grasps the immensity of the challenge ahead.
The Government’s insistence on pursuing a ‘hard’ Brexit (leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union) is both unnecessary and risky – pandering to the most extreme elements of the Conservative Party. This approach risks irreparable damage to the UK economy, and our fundamental rights and freedoms.
The Green Party does not accept that an exit from the EU – whether a ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ Brexit – is in the interests of the British people.
I firmly believe that the UK’s membership of the EU has brought a wealth of opportunities. It has given millions of Britons the chance to live, love, study and work across 27 Member States, and attracted millions of talented individuals to our shores. It has taken the lead on implementing environmental standards that protect the planet from climate change. Meanwhile, having strong social, political and economic ties to our closest neighbours makes the UK less isolated and more secure.
For as long as I remain an MEP, I will fight to protect these benefits. Even if we do leave the EU, we must not turn our backs on our partners, our global responsibilities and our planet.
Read my Green Guarantees leaflet to find out more about my priorities for getting the best deal for London and the UK as we exit the EU.
See my Free Movement Hub for an overview of how I’ve been working to protect the citizens’ rights since the referendum, including links to organisations who can help if you have concerns about your right to free movement.