Thursday, 23 June 2016

Leaving the EU: Forward to the past?

Yesterday's decision is depressing. Like the rest of the Green Party I regret it but we recognise that it is the decision of the people.

Many things, however, will not change. Geographically, culturally and politically we will still be part of Europe. And our sovereignty will still be limited by a web of international treaties and relationships.

As we unweave the strands labelled 'EU' there are some things we’ll be glad to see go. Of these the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – the secret treaty that seeks to make our parliament subject to corporate courts – is the most toxic.

But some things we should keep. Our EU membership provides useful protections for our health, human rights and environment. There is nothing at all un-British about such protections which were often pioneered by the UK before joining the EU.

On both these the UK government has taken the wrong side – backing TTIP and undermining our rights. As we leave those of us – clearly a majority – who reject TTIP and value these protections need to watch what’s being done in our name. We need – immediately – to insist on open access to the negotiating texts of the agreements that will replace our EU membership. And we need to organise to resist the underhand attacks on our rights that the Tories will make in the name of UK independence.

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