The European Union and the UK are on a cliff edge. Left to its Brussels-based establishment, the EU continues to turn against most of its people who, as a consequence, turn against Brussels. Meanwhile, facing an immensely damaging Brexit, the people of Britain are becoming despondent. This is the moment for British and continental progressives to forge a close alliance.
Next year’s European parliament elections will not, sadly, be contested in Britain. And they are not capable of toppling the current EU regime, since the European parliament has no such authority. Nevertheless, this vote involving the electorates of 27 member states offers us a splendid opportunity to have the debate that we have been denied so far across Europe. Britain’s people – indeed, its MPs – never got a chance to debate the relationship they want the UK to have with the EU post-Brexit. Similarly, the peoples of mainland Europe have never had an opportunity to debate the clear and urgent changes that the EU needs to implement if it is to become a force for good.
We think that we have a duty to spearhead these debates in both Britain and on the continent, using the European parliament elections as our focal point. We also think that this is an opportunity to heal the rift between progressive remainers and leavers in Britain, as well as between continental progressives who have given up on the EU and those who disagree that the EU’s disintegration is the right agenda to take to Europeans.
To this end, we have decided not only to contest European elections in May 2019 on the strength of a single manifesto, mapping out a clear path to a democratic, ecological, egalitarian and ambitious Europe, but also to campaign in Britain. Naturally, we intend to do so in association with our natural allies in the country: Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, our colleague Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green party, and other progressives in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Why campaign in the UK? To what effect? We believe strongly that a common crisis is undermining our societies and our democracies. As with climate change or tax avoidance, solutions cannot emerge either from the British establishment or from Europe’s pseudo-technocracy. “More of this Europe” won’t do the trick, » Lees verder