“Motion #03 (at their conference last week)
Closer Alignment to the European Union
For the record of policy statements we propose updating the party’s position concerning the UK’s current and future relations with the European Union. The proposed position includes (a) rejoining the EU (subject to the right conditions), and (b) closer alignment in the meantime, to minimise the problems of Brexit.
The Green Party regrets that the UK is no longer a member of the European Union. We continue to believe that the UK would be in a better position socially, environmentally and economically if we had maintained our EU membership. The pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine has shown that a united response to global issues is even more needed in the contemporary world.
The Green Party maintains that full membership of the EU remains the best option for the UK, and we are in favour of pursuing a policy to re-join as soon as the political situation is favourable and the right terms are available.
We deplore the government’s decision to undermine the international treaties it has signed, and its failure to prepare properly for the massive changes to our economic and social structures caused by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, putting businesses and citizens at risk. We also regret the decision not to undertake any official monitoring of the economic impacts of our decision to leave the EU.
We believe that many of the worst problems resulting from Brexit would be eased by re-joining the customs union and signing up to a comprehensive agreement with the EU covering the protection of human, animal and plant life. We would also support a speedy return to free movement of people between the UK and the European Union, and an urgent restoration of our inclusion in the Horizon Europe Research programme.
While we continue to support the principle of subsidiarity, local supply chains, and strengthened local economies, we are clear that the best way to maintain high standards on workers’ rights, health and safety and environmental protection is to mirror the legislative rules governing the EU single market.
In particular, we deeply regret the loss of rights and opportunities afforded to our young people and will campaign to ensure that all young, people regardless of background and socio-economic status, continue to enjoy the opportunity to explore the continent they share with those from the 27 EU member states, particularly through continued participation in the Erasmus+ scheme.
We deplore the use of the UK Internal Market Act to limit the rights of the devolved nations to retain their alignment with the EU, and to go further and faster with environmental protection measures. We are deeply concerned that peace in Northern Ireland is threatened as a result of the UK government’s attempts to undo the Northern Ireland protocol.
We commit to maintaining close and friendly relationships with our European neighbours through groups such as pro-European organisations, professional associations and twinning schemes.”