The Scottish Greens have reacted with concern today to the proposed reforms to the UK's relationship with the European Union. The proposals, tabled by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council include limiting access to the welfare state for European nationals living in the UK and a recognition that the EU must 'increase competitiveness'.
Ross Greer, spokesperson on Europe & External Affairs and lead candidate for the West of Scotland said:
“The European community's commitment to continued UK membership is welcome but it is a damning indictment of our government's reputation when proposals which penalise those who have chosen to work and live in the UK are seen as the kind of 'good deal' which would make us more likely to stay in.
“Greens want to see radical reform of the EU; to increase democratic accountability, reduce the influence of large corporations and strengthen measures for social, economic and environmental justice. We have already made so much progress, such as through the tax on bankers' bonuses which Green MEPs successfully introduced. David Cameron should be pushing for more of these much needed reforms, not penalising UK residents or 'increasing competition' through damaging and secretive trade deals such as TTIP.
“We will campaign to stay in and reform the EU but worry that these proposals may simply create further distance between the UK and the rest of Europe.” (1)
At their conference in October 2015 the Scottish Greens voted to launch their own campaign to stay in the EU, similar to the Green Yes campaign during the Scottish independence referendum. They also decided not to join any cross-party campaign including the Conservatives but will collaborate with other progressive groups seeking a 'remain' vote. (2)
1) The man who capped the banks - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2d7ea7f6-829a-11e2-a3e3-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3z0sBA2f9
2) EU - Greens to make progressive case for membership https://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/uncategorized/eu-referendum-greens-to-make-progressive-case-for-membership/