In discussions on the UK’s future place in Europe, Green MEP Molly Scott Cato today warned the European Parliament that Cameron’s renegotiation agenda risks bargaining away citizens’ rights and creating a race to the bottom on environmental protection and health standards. She also said that the many in the UK who want the country to remain as part of the EU back a genuinely positive vision for the future; a vision based on a stronger, more effective European Parliament with greater decision-making powers and upholding the rights of citizens.
Molly Scott Cato was speaking during a plenary session in Strasbourg ahead of a European Council meeting later this week. The Council meeting will include a discussion on the European referendum and address some of the remaining political issues before a concrete proposal is adopted in February. David Cameron wrote to Council President Donald Tusk in November setting out four areas where he is seeking reforms as part of negotiations on the UK’s membership of the European Union.
In her one minute address to the Parliament, attended by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Nicolas Schmit, representing the Presidency of the Council, Molly Scott Cato said
I am speaking about the very serious threat that my country may soon leave this Union. David Cameron wants us to believe his renegotiation ‘vision’ is the only show in town when it comes to EU reform. His pro-austerity, regulation-lite, anti-migration rhetoric is more nightmare than vision. And it appears he now wants to export and inflict this nightmare on the rest of Europe.
But it is clear that his fake negotiation is unravelling. His pledge to ‘reduce red tape’ sees him doing his bit for the corporations, eager to eliminate anything that stands in the way of their profits. And his support for dodgy trade deals like TTIP show he is happy to see a race to the bottom on workers’ rights, environmental protection, and health standards.
But many in the UK want to be a part of a genuinely reformed Europe, with a stronger, more effective European Parliament with greater decision-making powers and scrutiny over the Commission and Council.
Greens say yes to the EU, yes to real reform, and yes to upholding the rights of all citizens which Mr Cameron is so keen to bargain away.