They know Brussels better than anyone—and want to prevent the unfolding chaosby Steve Bullock / April 20, 2018 / Leave a comment
We’re told that the people no longer like unelected experts and officials, but many forget that the UK has a store of elected ones in the form of UK MEPs. Not only do they have a deep understanding of the workings of Brussels, they see first-hand the impact of European Union membership on the UK and the regions and nations of it they represent. They also have a vote on the Withdrawal Agreement itself when it comes to the European Parliament.
While cross-party efforts are accelerating in Westminster, many UK MEPs from across the major parties have been dedicated to opposing Brexit for some time. Many believe, like me, that it can and must be stopped.
Conservative MEP Charles Tannock told France 24 recently that “All sorts of problems are being exposed, almost daily, that weren’t even thought about during the campaign.” The Green MEP Molly Scott Cato argues that “All the justifications for Brexit are being dismantled” and, one by one, the arguments for it are falling.
Scott Cato points out that the EU27 will require any free trade agreement to restrict deregulation or a race to the bottom on tax, which “takes away a key plank of the argument for Brexit.” The trade deals that will apparently launch Global Britain turn out to be some way away and would contribute comparably little to the replacement of lost trade with the EU anyway. Instead of Brexit heralding a revitalised UK in the world, it will, in the words of Tannock, leave the UK “Geopolitically isolated.”
Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling argues that the government’s rejection of the Single Market and Customs Union “Risks the future of our economy and business, cutting us off from the EU social and employment rights on which British workers rely.”
It is not just product standards and workers’ rights at risk. Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder is “opposed to the notion that we can have a Green Brexit.” Green MEP Keith Taylor agrees that the “‘Green Brexit’ myth has been exposed,” and says the government “continues to ignore the majority of farmers, animal welfare advocates and the 93 per cent of UK consumers who want to see vital EU safeguards maintained.”