As Green Party speaker on Brexit, Molly has said that the UK could both retain freedom of movement and reduce immigration numbers. She says the Home Office has effectively acknowledged that the government has failed to use EU rules, enforced by most other EU countries, to restrict European workers if they are not working or seeking work; something she argued during the referendum campaign.
Molly slammed the government’s ‘inconsistency and mismanagement’, while reaffirming her support for freedom of movement. She said:
“Freedom of movement became one of the defining issues of the referendum. But it has always been clear that while at the Home Office, Theresa May refused to use rules that other EU countries use to better manage free movement. The inconsistency and mismanagement at the Home Office during May’s tenure, turned migration into a toxic issue. This caused many people to vote to leave the EU; something that will ultimately threaten the economy and therefore their livelihoods.
“The free movement of people is a fundamental and essential principle of the EU; one which I will continue to defend robustly as an MEP. However, there are clear EU rules on returning those not in work and the government has failed to apply these rules.”
Molly also called on Labour to back retaining free movement. She said:
“I welcome the fact that some Labour MPs and MEPs have publicly backed retaining free movement of workers between Britain and the EU . Rather than pandering to xenophobic cries on immigration, it should instead focus on the government’s failure to enforce EU rules on restricting EU migrants not in work. This is a fair and just approach which could persuade Labour’s northern voters to change their mind about migration and Brexit.