Friday 31 January 2020 opens a new era for European history and integration. More than three years after voting in favour of leaving the European Union, and after three years of negotiations, the United Kingdom is the first member state to leave the bloc after over 60 years of progressive integration and enlargement. The European Green Party strongly recalls its commitment to deep cooperation between the EU and the UK to fight the climate crisis.
Thomas Waitz and Evelyne Huytebroeck, co-chairs of the European Green Party comment:
'Sadly, we bade farewell to many trusted Green MEP colleagues from the UK who have been among the most active MEPs, some since the 2019 European elections, and some for decades. Given their situation, their efforts towards a greener Europe for their constituents and for all Europeans have been remarkable.
They would be valuable members of the House of Commons. However, the winner-takes-all voting system of the UK makes it considerably harder for smaller parties and their voters to have a real influence. British voters were represented proportionally in the European Parliament, but the 7% of Green voters in the general election are represented by one single MP, Caroline Lucas.
We want the 52,4% of UK voters who voted for parties rejecting Brexit in the last UK general election to know that we will work to ensure the UK will be welcome to rejoin the European family in the future.
Jean Lambert, member of the European Green Party's Committee, and former Greens/EFA Member of the European Parliament from the UK, added:
'This is a sad development at a time when the world needs to come together to face the future. It shows we need to stay vigilant in the face of forces that want to split the EU, weaken its role as defender of democracy, human rights and strong environmental protection.
The Greens have constantly made a clear commitment to continue working across borders in the interests of our common future. The upcoming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow will be an opportunity to show that commitment.
The European Green Party will keep working ever more closely with the Green Party of England and Wales and with the Scottish Greens to further offer solutions to fight the climate crisis that work for citizens in the EU and in the UK.