UK Politics

Green Party in 'extreme Brexit' warning

Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas Image copyright PA

The UK is facing a "right wing coup" as Theresa May pushes ahead with "an extreme Tory Brexit," the Green Party's co-leaders have claimed.

Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley said they did not believe the British people had voted for the kind of Brexit being pursued by the prime minister.

The pair were speaking at their party's spring conference in Liverpool.

Ms Lucas voted against triggering Article 50 and has argued for a second referendum on the final Brexit deal.

The MP said the Green Party offered a "hopeful alternative" to young people "let down by Brexit".

"Young people deserve a party that will say loudly and clearly: freedom of movement is your right, tuition fees must be scrapped and private rents brought under control," she told the conference.

'Hope'

The Green Party of England and Wales is keen on forming electoral pacts with other anti-Brexit parties in the event of a "snap" general election.

Mr Bartley said: "The path to reform of democracy must begin with a reshaping of the mainstream of British politics.

"And yes, friends, that means sometimes putting aside our differences when we face a lost generation of Tory rule under the influence of the likes of Farage, Nuttall and Arron Banks."

Mr Bartley said the Labour Party - which has said it will back the government over Brexit provided it protected workers' rights and secured access to the free market - had failed to hold ministers to account.

And he said the Conservative government's Brexit strategy was not what people had voted for in June, telling party members: "None of this was in the referendum question put to the country last year."

"I know that the British people do not want their fellow Europeans, who've made their homes here in Britain in good faith, treated as hostages or bargaining chips whilst the prime minister gambles with their future," he added.

He urged party members and supporters not to give up hope "in the face of Trump and Brexit, terror, wars and environmental crises," adding "it's easy to feel powerless but that's what the establishment wants".

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