Gulnar Hasnain
Image credit: Gulnar Hasnain

As the government continues its negotiations over Brexit – both with the European Union and the UK parliament – the possibility of the UK participating in the forthcoming European Parliament elections is becoming more and more likely. In light of this, regional Green Parties have begun the process of selecting candidates to fight those elections.

Bright Green is inviting all those standing to be Green candidates for those potential elections to write a short article, outlining why party members should select them. One of these candidates is Gulnar Hasnain, and this is what she had to say:

Well this is a mess isn’t it? Has politics ever been so fractious, so petty or so trite? Brexit has driven all the worst instincts of British politics to the fore. Factionalism. Deceit. Bald-faced lying. It’s impossible to predict what will happen with Brexit and so few politicians seem to have our country’s best interests at heart. It’s why I’m standing to be London Green Party’s lead MEP candidate. Whatever happens we have to be ready for a European Election in May.

London Green Party has a choice about the team of people it wants to put forward to fight against the Brexitshambles. We inherit a fantastic legacy of hard work and principled campaigning from Jean Lambert. I promise to follow on from Jean and fight to remain, fight to reform and (if necessary) fight to rejoin.

Fight to remain

The struggle over Brexit is not yet over. With Labour now backing a second referendum and a lack of progress with Theresa May’s deal, there is a window of opportunity. People’s Vote advocates need to be fighting to build popular support for giving the decision back to the people. I promise as your lead candidate to work with local Green Parties and Remain campaigners to win. Across London we can spend time talking with voters, connecting with Remainers and Leavers, sharing our positive vision for a reformed Europe.

Because in some ways politics have never been so dangerous. The likes of Tommy Robinson and Gerard Batten are using the Brexit vote to sow division and spew hatred. The far right are galvanising and it has never been so important that anti-racists work together against the toxicity of these hatemongers. As the Green Party we have the opportunity to advance a Remain message that is radical, inclusive and stands in solidarity with migrants. A message few others are advancing.

Fight to reform

We know the EU isn’t perfect. That’s why Greens have always been at the forefront of fighting for more democracy and more accountability. We need a Europe that is united on tackling the key problems of our time, like climate change and the refugee crisis. Instead the EU has too often prioritised the power of corporations and banks. There is rightful anger about some of the actions of the European Commission, from Greece to Fortress Europe.

But the solution has never been Lexit. The EU is not going away and radical progressives should be sitting in the European Parliament, fighting from the inside. As London Green Party’s MEP candidate I promise not to shy away from the flaws in the EU. To acknowledge the concerns over democracy and financial policy. Molly Scott Cato is a perfect example of how Green MEPs can use their position to fight for the much needed green economics our planet needs.

Only Europe wide action can secure the future of our planet. We need stronger environmental protections. Stronger action on cutting emissions, confronting member states who are failing to cut fossil fuels. We need investments moved away from dirty energy. We need to see action curbing the lobbying power of Big Oil.

Fight to rejoin

I promise that should the worst happen and we crash out of Europe I will continue to fight. Even if the European Elections do not happen our slate of candidates should still be working to make the case for a greener Europe with the UK at the heart of it. I am certain that should the worst happen there will be a campaign to rejoin. Greens should be part of that movement, campaigning to expose the flaws in leaving and the benefit in rejoining. With your support I promise to work with all lead candidates to make that case.

Gulnar Hasnain is a Green Party member from London. She stood in Vauxhall in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections. In 2015, she won 7.6% of the vote, coming third. Earlier this year, she was elected to be the 5th candidate on the Green Party’s list for the London Assembly elections. 

All articles from those seeking to be Green candidates for London in the European Parliament elections can be found here.