Brexit, railways and Thatcher – UK Green news round up week 3
Caroline Lucas enters Brexit negotiations with Theresa May
After a week of intense political machinations, we’re still no closer to clarity on the direction of travel for Brexit. During the week, Caroline Lucas was one of over 306 MPs who voted for the ultimately unsuccessful vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government.
Lucas then accepted May’s offer of discussions on the possible ways forward for Brexit. Unsurprisingly, she wasn’t convinced by the government’s trajectory. Following the meeting, Lucas said the discussions were “too little too late”, and argued “its impossible really to think that she’s going to be able to find a way forward at this point”.
In the meeting, she made the case for her position on Brexit:
I made the case for extending Article 50 and I made the case an incredibly strong case for a people’s vote. We had a robust discussion about that, I hope I was able to put some of her fears at rest about the concerns about a people’s vote.
The next few days will be really instrumental in seeing what happens but I feel pretty sure that she going to have to come back, to the country in one way or another.
Jonathan Bartley joins 120,000 people calling for public ownership of railways
Campaigners for public ownership of railways moved forward their fight this week. And they were joined by Green Party of England and Wales Co-Leader Jonathan Bartley.
He accompanied organisations including We Own It, Bring Back British Rail and Care2 in delivering a petition signed by over 120,000 people to the Department for Transport. The petition demanded the railways be taken back into public ownership and was delivered as the Government embarks on a public consultation on the future of the rail network.
2020 Mayoral and Assembly election selection continues
The selection process for Green candidates for the 2020 London Mayoral and Assembly elections continued this week. On Saturday, the vast array of candidates set out their stall at a hustings. Bright Green has been covering the campaign, running a series of articles written by each of the candidates.
Patrick Harvie says the SNP’s approach to councils is worse than Thatcher
This week saw the latest development in the ongoing budget battle facing the Scottish Government. The Scottish Greens’ co-convener Patrick Harvie laid into the SNP for its approach to council funding.
Harvie compared the SNP to Margaret Thatcher, arguing:
“at least when Thatcher did rate capping she had the decency to do it on a statutory basis not by bullying.”
The Scottish Green Party is pushing for an overhaul of council tax as its central demand in budget negotiations with the Scottish Government. The SNP minority administration relies on the votes of the Greens to pass budgets through the Scottish Parliament.
Green Councillor slams “watered-down” emission reduction plans
Revised plans for emissions reduction in Oxford were announced this week. But they’ve not been warmly received by Green Councillors in the city.
Green Councillor Craig Simmonds condemned the latest iterations of the plans, telling the Oxford Times:
“The proposals are a watered-down version of those in 2017 and a lot of detail is missing. Perhaps most disappointingly, the ‘Zero Emissions Zone’ has become a low emission zone. Private cars are unlikely to be restricted at all in the wider ‘green zone’ before 2025 and even then – as it currently stands – cars emitting up to 75gCO2 per kilometre will be permitted. This is twice the emissions of today’s typical plug-in hybrid car.”
The latest plan doesn’t include a previously touted plan to ban private car use in the centre of Oxford.
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