Greens press for ‘peo­ple’s vote’

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - News - PATRICK DALY news@west­erndai­ly­

THE Green Party is hold­ing a rally in the West Coun­try to­day with the in­ten­tion of push­ing the case for sec­ond ref­er­en­dum.

The pro-EU party will be hold­ing the event in Bris­tol, dur­ing their three-day con­fer­ence at City Hall, in sup­port of a so-called ‘peo­ple’s vote’ on the fi­nal Brexit deal.

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May used her Con­ser­va­tive Party con­fer­ence speech this week to ex­plic­itly rule out hold­ing a sec­ond vote, say­ing it was akin to “telling peo­ple they got it wrong the first time and should try again”.

But the Greens are de­ter­mined to keep the door open to re­main­ing in the Eu­ro­pean Union, call­ing for the Gov­ern­ment to al­low the pub­lic to have the fi­nal say.

The rally will see party mem­bers and other sec­ond ref­er­en­dum sup- porters de­scend on Col­lege Green at 12.40pm to lis­ten to se­nior Green fig­ures speak.

South West MEP Molly Scott Cato, who con­tested the Bris­tol West con­stituency at last year’s gen­eral elec­tion, Brighton MP Caro­line Lu­cas and re­cently elected party co-leader Sian Berry will ad­dress the crowd.

In a di­rect crit­i­cism of the Labour Party, Ms Scott Cato said a vote on the Brexit deal “must in­clude a re­main op­tion”, declar­ing it the “only re­al­is­tic way through the dead­lock” in Par­lia­ment.

The Labour Party opted to keep a sec­ond Eu­ro­pean vote as an “op­tion” dur­ing its party con­fer­ence in Liver­pool, but shadow chan­cel­lor John Mc­Don­nell hinted that it would only be on the fu­ture Brexit di­rec­tion, with no op­tion of stay­ing in the EU.

Ms Scott Cato said: “While nine in 10 Labour mem­bers sup­port a ‘peo­ple’s vote’ and many Labour MPs do, too, the party’s lead­er­ship still needs some con­vinc­ing. Greens are un­equiv­o­cal in our com­mit­ment to such a vote and that it must in­clude a re­main op­tion. To deny peo­ple that op­tion would mean it isn’t a peo­ple’s vote at all as it would to­tally dis­en­fran­chise the mil­lions – now form­ing the ma­jor­ity – who want to stay in.”

Ms Lu­cas, the Green’s only MP, said Mrs May was look­ing “in­creas­ingly iso­lated on Brexit” and that giv­ing the pub­lic a say on the next step was “the only way out of this mess.”

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