What Unite to Remain means to me18 November 2019
I worry what will happen to the climate, to our country and to our society if we crash out of the European Union on either a Conservative or Labour Brexit deal. A deal that, for whatever might be promised, will pull us apart from our closest neighbours, leaving us outside a peace project that has worked for over 60 years.
What Unite to Remain intends to do is put aside our differences in just a few seats to reduce the chances of crashing out of the European Union. Politics has become nasty and divisive, I have faced intimidation myself for standing up for what I believe in. I hope this is the first step to repair our broken democracy. That is why a new voting system is the other key aspect of the agreement. All 3 parties (Greens, Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democrats) support not just remaining in the EU, but are also champions of a proportional voting system.
Like you I am frustrated that under our horrible First Past the Post system many votes don’t count. I am tired, like you are, that the system forces you to vote for the least worst option rather than for what you truly believe in. I want to promote a politics of hope, cooperation and grown-up thinking. Of putting our country before party.
Unite to Remain is not a political alliance, it is not even an agreement on policies beyond the belief that we are better within the European Union and that your vote should matter through a proportional system. I and the rest of the Green Party disagree with the Liberal Democrats on their policy of expanding right-to-buy, supporting fracking, and enabling austerity – these are just three of many policy disagreements. But we were all adult enough to sit together, listen and talk. We treated each other with respect and agreed on putting people before tribal politics.
The Labour Party has been invited to talk with us but have repeatedly declined to do so. Instead they are standing everywhere, and putting intolerable pressure on Green candidates to stand aside for them, while never returning the favour.
I was shocked to learn that Labour are also the only social democratic party in the developed world that still supports a First Past The Post voting system. They are trailing decades behind their colleagues, and it is their opposition to a fair voting system that has sadly let the whole UK fall behind on fair voting too.
On the 12th December the Remain parties must be the winner in this election so that we have a future that protects our environment and our hard won worker’s rights. We must take action on climate chaos and we must reject both a Labour or a Boris Johnson Brexit deal.