There was standing room only on 17 July in Hereford’s Left Bank main hall for a talk on “Brexit – Where’s it going?” – by Green Party MEP and economist Molly Scott Cato.
Molly (pictured with Green county councillors Felicity Norman, left, and Ellie Chowns, right) the Green Party speaker on Brexit made a passionate and powerful plea for a ‘People’s Vote’ – a second referendum.
“WOULD YOU BUY THIS HOUSE?”
She likened the Brexit saga to buying a house. You put in your offer to purchase but then you get the results of the structural survey which shows you are about to buy a load of trouble. To those claiming a second referendum would be ‘undemocratic’ she quoted (of all people!) former Tory Brexit secretary David Davis who once said: “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.”
So much more is known now than when the public voted in the referendum, she said. The government’s own studies into the impacts of Brexit show it will be disastrous for the economy. Molly, who is on the EU Parliament Agriculture Committee, said UK farming is one of the sectors that will be badly. Crops are already rotting in the fields of Cornwall due to lack of labour and lamb exports to the EU are set to be hit by a 40 per cent tariff when we leave ‘the club.’
“TRUMP AND PUTIN UNDERMINING EU”
Globally, Putin’s Russia is waging a cyber war against democracies and tried to influence the outcome of the UK referendum. Both Trump and Putin aim to undermine the EU.
At home, ‘dark money’ is influencing events. The ‘Leave’ campaigns – one headed by Michael Gove and cabinet chums and the other by UKIP’s Nigel Farage – have been found to have breached electoral law and fined with some organisers now referred to the police.
“It is quite clear the mandate for Brexit lies buried beneath countless occurrences of cheating, voter manipulation and electoral law-breaking, “ said Molly.
With the Tories divided, Labour mute and parliament deadlocked, voters should be given the opportunity to vote on the Brexit deal, she said, adding:“There is a growing chorus from all parts of the political spectrum – I believe momentum is really building for a people’s vote.”
The event, chaired by Diana Toynbee of Hereford Greens, featured a wide-ranging discussion with Molly Scott Cato answering many questions from the audience.
Asked “What can we do? Molly urged people to get involved with the local Herefordshire For Europe campaign whose organisers took part in the event.
(report by Pete Blench)