Responding to the speech by EU Commission presidential nominee, Ursula von der Leyen, in the European parliament this morning, the UK’s Green MEPs  have made the following statement:
“The prospect of the first woman president of the EU Commission is a reason to welcome the nomination of Ursula von der Leyen. We are also encouraged by her comments on Brexit, particularly her willingness to grant the UK a further extension and so prevent a disastrous crash out of the EU.
“However, we find ourselves unable to vote for her. The appointments process used to select her was a backroom deal cobbled together to appease the far right in countries of Central Europe where the rule of law is under threat and democratic standards at risk.
“Also, on a wide range of issues, from tax and trade to climate and protecting life in our countryside, there is clearly a gulf between the views of von der Leyen and the Green agenda for change.
“If she becomes president, it will be thanks to the votes of the far right, rather than those of the strong pro-European majority. Had she chosen the radical change that millions of Green voters demand we could see the EU transformed over the next 5 years. We would tackle inequality and poverty, defend people from corporate power, fix our broken tax system and properly address the climate emergency.
“Improving the lives of citizens and restoring confidence in the EU is also the best way to crush the voices of nationalism, extremism & fascism that are gaining ground across the continent.”
 The UK’s seven Green MEPs are: Scott Ainslie (London), Ellie Chowns (West Midlands), Gina Dowding (North West), Magid Magid (Yorks and Humber), Alexandra Phillips (South East), Catherine Rowett (East), Molly Scott Cato (South West).