Thursday 18 April 2019

Brexitwatch: working together to beat Brexit - a disappointing response from the Greens

Last week I wrote to the three main pro-Remain parties in England: the LibDems, Greens and Independent Group to ask how they would be co-operating in the local and European elections (see my post of April 12).

The only response I've had so far has been from the Greens. It was disappointing (and suggested a lack of understanding of how the voting system works): 

Hi John, 

Thank you for getting in touch. 

We released this statement on the matter yesterday: 

"The Green Party has no plans to field joint ‘remain’ lists in the upcoming European Elections. The Green Party has a long and proud history within the European Parliament - from being a strong and unwavering voice for Remain, to fighting climate change and standing up for workers’ rights. 

"The European Parliament election is conducted by proportional representation, which means every vote counts and every vote can make a difference. In the last European Elections the Green Party came ahead of the Liberal Democrats, with three MEPs elected. We would also resist any calls for us to stand alongside parties with whom we have fundamental ideological differences on austerity, economic policy and beyond." 

Kind regards, 
Membership Team 
Green Party of England and Wales 

I have replied to the Green MP Caroline Lucas and to the party's leadership -

Dear Caroline Lucas & Green Party,
I am bitterly disappointed by the reply I have received to my question about how pro-Remain parties are going to co-operate in the local and European elections. 
You do not even mention the local elections, and your reply on the European elections reflects a tribalism that would fit perfectly in the Tory and Labour parties. It also suggests an ignorance of how the electoral system in the Euro elections works. Except in N Ireland, it is not a properly proportional system. A threshold has to be passed before a party can get any MEPs. The more pro-Remain parties fight each other, the fewer pro-Remain MEPs there will be.
If the election is handed to Nigel Farage or the Tory party, it will be a terrible blow for the Remain cause, and anyone in the pro-Remain parties who helps facilitate it will not be forgiven.
Please thing again.
Yours sincerely,
John Withington

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