It goes without saying that 23 June was a disappointing result. But, as a Green, I am proud of the role we played in being one of the voices in the debate to raise the issues that so many voters care about but which weren’t being aired by the official ‘In’ campaign.
We had a unique message that only the Greens could speak up on, and a track record showing what the EU could be. While the main ‘In’ campaigns focused on the free movement of money, we were a breath of fresh air – speaking up for people’s right to live, work and study throughout the EU, for young people and for the rights of workers and our planet. The feedback from doorsteps and on social media showed there was a real appetite – and a genuine need – for what we were saying, in the face of such a dispiriting, Tory-led and male-dominated debate.
The campaign was hard work coming straight after the elections, but we did it anyway. It was often hard battling the media, who covered the Conservatives for 70 per cent of the debate, leaving little coverage for other political parties, economists, and experts. Despite this, hundreds upon thousands of people agreed with our message.
The numbers of people expressing an interest in the Greens after the referendum – with more than 2,000 joining and many sending me emails and messages – show we’ve laid the groundwork for the essential campaigning that is to come.
So, as co-chair of the Greens for a Better Europe campaign, thank you to all the supporters who got leaflets delivered, set up stalls and canvassed – rain or shine – to promote a just vision for the EU, and to those who spread the word to their friends, colleagues and family. And thank you to our three amazing MEPs, who have inspired as well as achieved so much at the European Parliament.
The battle is not over – in many ways, it’s only just begun. I’m confident that the alliances we built, the people we reached and the groundwork we laid will put us in good stead for whatever is to come.