Caroline Lucas connects with Leave voters on UK tour

Green MP and Remain campaigner Caroline Lucas has launched a new project, Dear Leavers, in which she will be talking to people who voted for Brexit about their concerns, hopes and ideas on the future of the UK.

Caroline Lucas meets constituents on the Isle of Wight
Caroline Lucas meets constituents on the Isle of Wight

Image: James McDonald

Caroline Lucas meets constituents on the Isle of Wight as part of the Dear Leavers tour

Kate Dickinson

Green MP Caroline Lucas is touring the UK talking to people in constituencies that voted to leave the EU.

The project, called Dear Leavers, was launched today (8 February) and has already seen Lucas visit the Isle of Wight, Swindon, Dagenham and Cannock Chase – all areas that saw a majority vote in favour of Leave.

In the first of a series of videos from the tour, Lucas explains: “Ours is a country of grotesque inequalities, where the status quo is intolerable for far too many people. Where most of us don’t have a say over the decisions that affect us. I’ve never seen our country so divided, nor our Parliament so hopeless.

“I’ve been travelling to communities all around the country where most people voted Leave to talk about how we build a future together – based on what we have in common rather than what divides us.”

Lucas expressed her concern about the way Brexit is dividing communities, but stated that “we share the same hopes and dreams” and that to realise them, “power needs to be with the people, not just for one vote, but forever.

“I don’t think Brexit is the solution to the very real problems that we face. Whether we leave or whether we stay and fight, change is coming, and what I do believe is that we must shape that change together. And politicians like me need to listen.”

 

Lucas has long been a staunch campaigner for Remain and for a People’s Vote on whether to accept the terms of Brexit, be that with a deal or without, or to stay in the EU. But with Dear Leavers, she is taking a look at the deeper issues behind Brexit that led people to vote Leave, asking: ‘If you were in control, what would you change first about life in the UK?’

The project has been warmly received, with people on social media already offering their suggestions as to what they would change – the idea of introducing proportional representation has cropped up more than once. But the significant conversations Lucas is looking for will happen on the ground in the Leave-voting constituencies she visits, with those people that Remain campaigners didn’t manage to connect with during the referendum – many who feel that the current political system is not working for them at all.

Lucas plans to visit Dudley, Huddersfield and Wigan in the coming weeks as she continues the Dear Leavers tour.

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