The triggering of Article 50 will put Brighton and Hove and the country into a state of uncertainty. The Conservative government is pursuing an extreme exit from the European Union with no assurances on the environment, workers’ rights or, as the so-called ‘party of business’, even trade. Brighton and Hove City council now faces a double whammy of Government cuts along with no certainty over the future of funding provided to our city by the E.U. Our voluntary sector and our two universities, projects to boost basic skills and tackle early school drop-out, support for families affected by drugs are just some of the initiatives that have benefitted from European Union membership and funding and they are now at risk. We cannot allow the exit from the European Union to affect the poorest residents the hardest and we are committed to protecting public services.
Greens are especially outraged that E.U nationals have not been given any guarantees about their right to remain. This uncertainty is completely unacceptable and we stand with Brighton and Hove residents who are concerned about these changes.
Brighton and Hove voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union. Although we acknowledge the outcome of the referendum from the country, people did not vote for a rushed, Conservative-led set of ‘deals’, and terms set by a Prime Minister with no mandate for ‘hard Brexit’. We have to also say that Labour’s divisions and weak opposition in the face of Brexit will cost Brighton and Hove dearly.
In your local Council, Greens will rightly scrutinise any negative impacts on our city resulting from Brexit ‘deals.’ We will stand firm protecting our status as a city of sanctuary for migrants and refugees and campaign for citizen’s voices to be heard. The “£350m a week” promised to the NHS was a lie and locally Greens will continue to oppose any creeping privatisation or ‘sell off’ of the NHS.
In Parliament Green MP Caroline Lucas has been a strong voice for the city, and as negotiations continue, Greens will be pushing for five ‘green guarantees’: on protection for the environment, for young people and their access to EU opportunities, for fair tax and fair trade, for free movement and for improved representative democracy. We must campaign for international cooperation and peace, the environment, public services and workers’ rights, rather than allowing the arguments about ‘us’ and ‘them’ to divide us.
You can view the ‘Green Guarantees’ here:
Last year we proposed that the Council should write to Parliament, expressing the particular benefits that E.U membership brings to Brighton and Hove. This fell as it did not gain enough votes from opposition parties. You can view the original ‘Notice of Motion’ online.