Green Party urges people to Vote Remain

In an open letter to voters, Green Party leader Steven Agnew MLA highlights the need to Vote Remain in the EU referendum on Thursday 23 June 2016.

He writes:

The Green Party in Northern Ireland is supporting the Stronger IN campaign and I wanted to make one final appeal to you to vote Remain on Thursday.

There are five key reasons why I believe that you should vote Remain;

1. We are #GreenerIN
Our environmental challenges do not stop and start at arbitrary borders. We must tackle issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss at an international level. EU Directives such as those on energy efficiency, habitats and water, help ensure that we live in a more sustainable world.

2. The free movement of labour is fundamental
The free movement of capital must be accompanied by the free movement of people. In two of the last four years (for which figures are available), more people have left Northern Ireland than have come in. Leaving the EU means risking our young people’s ability to live and study freely within Europe and inhibit our ability to attract talent to Northern Ireland.

3. International Agreements require International Democracy
Global trade, climate change and international are just some of the issues that require international co-operation. The elections to the European Parliament ensure that there is some democratic legitimacy to decisions that are being taken. While imperfect, without a say through the EU Parliament, decision making will take place without any input from UK citizens, if we leave the EU.

4. Northern Ireland receives more from the EU than we put in
The EU has helped Northern Ireland throughout our peace process and continues to do so. As we have become less reliant on peace funding we have greatly enhanced our ability to draw down EU research and structural funds, meaning we can invest for the future.

5. The EU is good for the economy, good for people and good for our environment
CBI, NI Independent Retailers Trade Association; ICTU, Unison, Unite; Friends of the Earth, NICVA. These are just some of the groups representing businesses, workers and our NGO sector, that support the Remain campaign. Each of the Green Parties on these islands are also united in our call to citizens to vote Remain.

For these reasons and many more I urge you to vote Remain on Thursday, and ask that you encourage others to do the same.

Steven Agnew MLA
Leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland

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