e-news June 2019

Molly has been re-elected as Green MEP for the South West!

  • Achieving 18% of the vote, the highest Green vote of any region
  • Receiving a higher vote than the Conservative and Labour vote combined in a staggering 21 of 31 regional results.
  • The Green Party now has seven UK MEPs, up from three in the previous parliament

The results of the European election in the South West by area can be found here

Elected UK MEPs from left to right: Catherine Rowett (East), Molly Scott Cato (South West), Gina Dowding (North West), Alexandra Phillips (South East), Scott Ainlsie (London), Ellie Chowns (West Midlands) and Magid Magid (Yorks & Humberside)

Molly writes: 

An election that began in confusion – with a government pretending it wasn’t going to happen and celebrity candidates descending from the skies – ended in triumph for Remain.
Before the election we had three pro-Brexit and three pro-Remain MEPs and that share remains unchanged. However, voters rejected the confused messages on Brexit from Labour and the Tories, and mobilised to support passionately pro-EU and Remain parties. I’m delighted to say that for 18% of you that meant voting Green. I’m especially proud of the poll-topping 35% we achieved in Bristol, now decidedly a Green city. So we have three MEPs determined to do whatever we can to keep the South West as a part of the EU and we’ll be working together to achieve just that.
I’d like to thank the regional ‘For Europe’ groups who trod a difficult path expertly, mobilising their members to vote while maintaining their political neutrality. This political skill bodes well for the second referendum that must surely come.

I am hugely excited to join a greatly strengthened Green/EFA Group* in the European Parliament. We have increased our numbers by an amazing 50% and are now the European Parliament’s fourth largest group with 75 MEPs. And seven of those MEPs now come from the UK! 
I also feel hugely honoured to have been elected as a vice-president of the Green Group – a member of the nine-strong bureau that guides and leads the group. This signals that the Green Group is committed to our MEPs serving their full five-year term and to supporting us Stop Brexit. I have also been chosen as one of the Group’s negotiators to agree a platform for a working plan for this Parliament together with the EU Commission and Council. These negotiators are seeking to agree a strongly pro-European platform that addresses citizen’s concerns. I will be focusing on a Europe-wide Green New Deal, climate taxes, stronger measures against tax avoidance, and the need to tackle poverty.
The Greens are in a strong position to ensure urgent action on climate change and to stop the right-wing groups protecting the very industries that are destroying our environment and climate.

* The European Free Alliance (EFA) group is made up of representatives of pro-European autonomist parties, regions and minorities and has been in a joint group with the European Greens since 1999. Plaid Cymru and Scottish National Party MEPs sit in this group.



South West set to lose £1bn if UK leaves the EU

A new study has revealed that if the government’s planned replacement for EU funding (if that ever happens) is distributed in the same way it currently allocates spending, it will lead to a transfer of resources from the relatively deprived economy of the South West to more prosperous areas, especially London and the South East. The South West, and Cornwall in particular, have been major beneficiaries of EU structural funding. Molly says:

“The EU has done great things for Cornwall, supporting one of the most deprived regions of the country by funding the creation of low carbon jobs, innovative start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises. All this is at risk if we leave the EU.”
More on this story here
MEPs must stop ‘Bolsonaro’s rainforest rampage’

Molly has joined forces with Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling to call on MEPs from all groups in the European Parliament to join them in voting against the EU-Mercosur Association agreement, a trade deal between Latin American countries – including Brazil – and the EU, unless it includes clear protection for the Amazon rainforest. The call comes following new evidence that deforestation in the Brazilian rainforest has increased rapidly since President Bolsonaro came to power. In May the rate of Amazon rainforest destruction hit a new record. Molly says:
“Saving the Amazon rainforest is critical in the fight against climate change and in safeguarding the rights, indeed the very existence, of many indigenous tribes. MEPs can help bring Bolsonaro’s rainforest rampage to a halt by pushing for the EU to abandon trade talks until his regime ends this environmental disaster and stops abusing human rights.”
More on this story here

Further reading

Publications by Molly
Philip Hammond won’t tackle the climate crisis. But a Green New Deal would
Molly responds in the Guardian to the chancellor Philip Hammond’s suggestion that we can’t afford to save ourselves or the planet.
Finland shows us what happens when a country embraces a proportional voting system
A letter published in the Independent in which Molly explains how proportional representation has resulted in Greens in government and a pledge that the country will be carbon neutral by 2035.
The great Tory carbon swindle
Molly writes for the Ecologist on what’s become known as a ‘carbon fiddle’, where Tory ministers have agreed to “carry forward” past “overperformance” in greenhouse gas emissions reductions to increase emissions in future.