Green Party leaders avoid Brexit mentions in big conference speech

Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley, co-leaders of the Green Party

Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley, co-leaders of the Green Party - Credit: PA

The Green Party's leadership has avoided referencing Brexit or membership of the European Union as it pitched its vision to supporters as part of this year's virtual conference.

Co-leaders Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry instead used their conference speech to focus on the pandemic response. 

Bartley said the action taken in response to the crisis had made it clear that things could be different.

Addressing the party’s virtual conference, he said: “In the middle of all the horror of the pandemic, we glimpsed that a different world might be possible.

“The amazing resilience of businesses changing and adapting the way they worked.

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“Communities coming together in solidarity and compassion to care and support one another.

“Our most valuable workers recognised as the key workers that they are, running the vital services on which we all rely.”

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“Debt in our NHS paid off.

“Intervention to support people’s incomes. Rough sleepers off our streets.

“In the middle of all the tragedy, all the heartache and the hardship, we had a glimpse of something new.

“I think that deep down everyone believes that a different and better world might be possible.

“A world where everything you need, a strong, resilient community, is close at hand where you live. Where you have a right to work from home. Where everyone has a home.

“Where renters have the right to fair rents and cannot be evicted.

“Imagine if our response to an emergency like coronavirus was to plan and build that better world from the things we learned.”

Berry said: “At this moment of truth for the world, Greens know that something better than business-as-usual is possible.

“Other politicians, now, are arguing again for cutbacks and cancelling investment in the wake of the economic shock of coronavirus, a trade-off between the economy and saving lives.

“But we dissent and we say this just isn’t true.

“We say that our plan for recovery cannot be a re-run of austerity economics, and that with a Green New Deal and a basic income we can break free from the old thinking for good.

“And the public are with us. They want a new normal.”

The Green Party were the first to propose a People's Vote in response to the EU referendum result, and were supporters of stopping Brexit at the last general election.

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