Caroline Lucas says she'll reject Brexit deal to avoid being 'complicit in creation of poorer smaller UK'
- Credit: PA
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has explained why she will reject Boris Johnson's Brexit deal - saying she wants to avoid being complicit in the creation of a "poorer, smaller UK with diminished global influence".
Lucas, a pro-European campaigner, said that there is no mandate for the agreement the prime minister secured with the EU.
Writing for the Independent, the former party leader wrote: "As a former senior civil servant in the Department of Trade memorably warned, we have given up a three-course meal and what we’ve got in exchange is a packet of crisps."
She explained: "This hardest of Brexit deals, for which there was no mandate – the first in history that increases barriers and costs rather than decreases them – is one that cuts British jobs, sidelines Britain’s service sector, undermines hard-won protections for the environment, workers’ rights and for consumers, and turns Kent into a diesel-stained monument to hubris and political myopia.
"I don’t remember any of that appearing on the side of a bus in 2016."
Lucas said she believes the deal would pass without the support of opposition parties, pointing out Labour is preparing to back a deal that it admits "will make this country poorer and hit the most vulnerable hardest of all".
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She said she will not abstain as it is "standing aside and allowing something to be passed into law which is plainly wrong for our country".
"At this time of climate and nature emergency, I am not prepared to acquiesce to lower environmental standards and less rigorous enforcement of them.
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"And I will not be complicit in the creation of a smaller United Kingdom with diminished global influence.
"Voting for this deal would giving my approval to what I believe is a grotesque mistake of historic proportions. Tragically too late, opinion polls indicate that a clear majority of people in this country now agree."
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