Caroline Lucas proposes emergency female Remainer ‘cabinet of national unity’

Green party MP Caroline Lucas speaks to students from the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement during a c

Green party MP Caroline Lucas speaks to students from the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement during a climate change protest in Brighton. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor/PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Green MP Caroline Lucas has proposed an emergency cabinet to block a no-deal Brexit that would implement a fresh referendum.

Lucas would team up with female Remainer MPs including Labour's Emily Thornberry, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and former Tory minister Justine Greening, and would work alongside SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.

The MP says that the cabinet would be formed temporarily if Boris Johnson's government falls, and would exist to stop a no-deal Brexit by proposing a People's Vote - which would include Remain and a no-deal Brexit on the ballot.

The move, reported by the Guardian, is the first offer from the Green Party to rebel MPs from the Tories, Labour, the Lib Dems and SNP to team up and try to stop Brexit.

Lucas has started talks with female MPs by writing to those mentioned in her open letter, as well as Labour's Yvette Cooper, Change UK's Anna Soubry, the SNP's Kirsty Blackman, Northern Irish MP Sylvia Hermon and Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville Roberts.

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She wrote: "It is hard to remember a moment in my lifetime when Britain faced a greater crisis. A coup led by a small group of rightwing libertarians is all but complete, as the Vote Leave team has been reassembled and taken control of 10 Downing Street.

"They are set upon implementing the most extreme no-deal version of Brexit - and, most terrifyingly, we are running out of time to stop them."

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She continued: "Why women? Because I believe women have shown they can bring a different perspective to crises, are able to reach out to those they disagree with and cooperate to find solutions," she wrote.

"It was two women who began the Peace People movement during the worst of the troubles in Northern Ireland; it was two women who were key to the signing of the Paris agreement on climate; difficult, intractable problems have found the beginning of resolution thanks to the leadership of women."

The proposals have so far had mixed reaction from politicians across the political divide.

Labour MP Diane Abbott tweeted: "Backdoor route to a national government. Didn't work for Ramsey Mcdonald and won't work now, whatever the gender of the participants."

Lib Dem MEP Caroline Voaden wrote: "Wonder if Caroline Lucas has done this to provoke attention rather than as serious suggestion? I'm all for women being involved in decision making in every area, at every level. But not at expense of good men who want to stop Brexit. Not a gender issue - let's not get sidetracked."

Tory minister Liz Truss said: "Is there anything more sexist than claiming your gender determines your worldview/behaviour/attitude?"

Political commentator Owen Jones asked: "Can you explain why Yvette Cooper - who is a backbencher who isn't on record anywhere backing a new referendum - represents the Labour leadership - while Diane Abbott - who is Shadow Home Secretary and who backs a new referendum - doesn't? Why have you just selected white women?"

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