EU VOTE: SCOTTISH GREENS TO DEBATE CAMPAIGN FOR REFORM
Scottish Greens meeting at their biggest ever party conference on 10 and 11 October will debate setting up their own pro-EU campaign ahead of the referendum, including a pledge not to join any official campaign that includes the Conservative party.
A motion from the party's international committee to conference, which takes place at the SECC in Glasgow, calls for a positively focused, distinct Scottish Green campaign that argues that Europe can be reformed to protect workers' rights, social justice, and lead the fight against climate change.
The Scottish Greens, whose membership now numbers over 9,000, are polling strongly for next year's Holyrood election with Green MSPs set to be elected from across Scotland's 8 regions.
Ross Greer, Scottish Green MSP candidate for West of Scotland in 2016 and the party's spokesperson on Europe, said:
"Being part of the EU supports jobs, education and free movement of people, and this motion from our international committee ensures our conference debates one of the biggest issues of the moment. By campaigning to stay in we can campaign to help improve the EU by arguing against austerity and promoting a fairer economy.
"Scottish Greens believe that a more democratic and progressive Europe is possible and are determined to fight for this. We must counter the right-wing voices attempting to define this issue. Whether it's the Tories or Ukip arguing for in or out, their motives are all about strengthening the grip of big business and undermining our social and environmental protections.
"While we will seek opportunities to work constructively with others to promote a positive vision for the EU, we don't believe it would be right to join any official campaign likely to be dominated by the Conservative party. We will not allow arguments around Europe to continue to be shaped by right wing voices, who believe in cruel austerity and job-threatening trade deals such as TTIP."
Keynote speakers at conference include Green MP Caroline Lucas, food poverty campaigner Jack Monroe and Scotland's former chief medical officer Harry Burns.