Green Party criticises Labour for leaving government Brexit position 'untested'

Green Party Co-Leader Jonathan Bartley, Deputy leader Amelia Womack and Co-Leader Sian Berry

(left to right) Green Party Co-Leader Jonathan Bartley, Deputy leader Amelia Womack and Co-Leader Sian Berry - Credit: PA

The Green Party has welcomed news of a Brexit deal to prevent a no-deal Brexit - but criticised the opposition for leaving the government's position on leaving the EU "untested".

Any deal Johnson secures is likely to pass through parliament with Labour expected not to oppose it – Sir Keir Starmer has stressed that an agreement with the EU would be in the national interest.

Green deputy leader Amelia Womack, in a statement, said the party "regrets the loss of influence and rights as a result of Brexit".

She said: “While we are clearly relieved that we have stepped back from the cliff edge, I deeply regret the loss of rights that this Brexit deal represents. 

“At the same time, Labour’s refusal to play its role as opposition for fear of losing pro-Brexit voters has left us in a position where the government’s Brexit policy has remained untested.

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“This is a political failure of the broken two-party system which has let us all down in so many ways. We now essentially have only a handful of MPs representing the half of the population who wanted to maintain a close relationship with the EU.”

Molly Scott Cato, former MEP and Green Party Brexit spokesperson, added: “At last we have some certainty about access to markets for businesses as a result of this 11th hour deal, but our economy will still be scarred by our damaging exit from the EU.

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“For a movement that was sold on freedom and cutting red tape, the reality is that businesses and people will now have far more restrictions placed on them, and much more time will have to be spent filling forms and dealing with bureaucratic processes.

“Only a minority of the population wanted this outcome where we will face additional economic costs and a difficult trading environment particularly for our services exporters. We have lost so much as a result of this deal and gained so little."

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