Speech by Councillor Denise Craghill to the People’s vote now demonstration
Just a few weeks ago the world’s leading climate scientists gave their starkest warning yet – that we have only 12 years left to make the changes needed to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. Above this level the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and rising sea levels will threaten the continuation of life on this planet.
This is the worst crisis the world has ever faced – and, guess what? – the key thing about tackling it – and we can tackle it – is that it demands cooperation, exchange of ideas and working together. And yet, here we are in Britain busily spending our precious time working out how to set ourselves out on a limb, how to isolate ourselves from our nearest neighbours and how to exclude ourselves from being a key player in the world’s largest trading bloc. Why are we indulging in this act of self-harm?// Because we voted, so we have to? Really? We know that most of what was promised back in 2016 isn’t going to happen. Far from £350m a week for the NHS we know that our economy, our businesses, our public services, our young people and the European citizens who enrich every part of our society are going to suffer – and nobody can really name what we are ‘taking back control’ of or how that will actually improve anything.
We really need to lay to rest the nonsense that a second vote would be undemocratic and say loudly and clearly that a vote to give everyone a chance to look again is the only democratic thing to do. A final say vote could also bring the country together and heal some of the divisions created by the ill-thought out, mis-managed and sometimes illegal campaign run in 2016. Everyone would be clearer about what they would be voting for and what the consequences of the results would be.
The Green Party stands firmly and clearly for a People’s Vote. We want a people’s vote on whatever deal comes forward – with an option to remain. We want this to happen straight away, not only if Parliament rejects the deal, not only if we can’t get a General Election, but as an essential part of the democratic process. We need the same clarity and commitment from the other parties, especially and most urgently from Labour. The tide is turning – let’s all keep on campaigning, keep lobbying our MPs and keep on standing up for democracy and a decent future for our children.