The old party political system is clearly not representing people's views: all sides must come together to fix our broken democracy

12 July 2016

The referendum is over; we will now leave the EU.  Nationally, the vote was 51.9% to leave and 48.1% to remain and in Shropshire 56.9% to leave and 43.1% to remain.

The Green Party of England and Wales and the South Shropshire Green Party have campaigned from the beginning to 'Remain' and we are still convinced that leaving is an historic mistake and will now trigger a large number of problems that will be very difficult to resolve (Note 1)

We accept that the citizens of the UK have voted and opted to leave and we will work as hard as we can to reduce the damaging consequences of that decision. We fully endorse the statement released by Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion:

People in Britain are angry – and they’ve expressed that anger today by voting to leave the EU. The most important task at hand now is unifying our divided communities.

Our party will now mobilise alongside the Trade Unions, environmental groups and others to defend our hard-won rights at work and our environmental protections.

If this referendum has shown one thing to be clear it is that the old party political system is not representing people’s views. Politics in the UK is synthetically bound to the Tories and Labour – that’s clearly failing. We’re calling on all sides to come together to fix our democracy here in Britain – starting with electoral reform for the House of Commons. The democratic deficit will not be fixed by leaving the EU – we need to look closer to home too.

What worries us right now is the fate of the many Europeans living here. The Leave campaign said they will be able to stay – and we expect them to honour that. But what about people who have made plans to come here to join family, or British people who have saved up for a lifetime to move to Spain? The prospect of shutting down the right to free movement is frightening, as are the consequences of a campaign that has at times pitted neighbours against one another, whipped up fear and allowed lies and myths to take the place of truth. Britain deserves better and I am pledging anew to fight against division on behalf of my constituents.”

The Coordinator of the South Shropshire Green Party, Dr David Gibbon, said:

The referendum result will cause far more problems than it solves. In South Shropshire the Green Party is determined to minimise the damage to all those who have benefitted from EU social policies (e.g. working hours and maternity rights) and protect our farmers now faced with the loss of EU financial support while the Conservative UK government wants to cut all of its budgets.  We will now lose the annual farming subsidy of £3.5billion and this will seriously damage farming and the rural economy.

"We are disappointed with the result but determined to work to create a better life and economy for Shropshire and one as good as anything available in EU member states.”