This is an extract from a much longer piece written by Larry O'Hara
In 1990 a motion to withdraw from the EU was narrowly defeated at the Green Party (hereafter GP) conference, which I thought then was a great mistake. Had Greens the nerve to advocate EU withdrawal, that may well have helped create the political space to make a breakthrough, conjoining radical politics with an anti-EU stance. Instead, Greens vacated that space, some of which was later colonized by UKIP. Since then Green policy has been contradictory: practically accommodating to the EU in many areas, contrasting party policies with others, while remaining within. All encapsulated in the ‘Three Yeses’ policy adopted in 2013: Yes to a referendum, Yes to the EU and Yes to major change within the EU. My contention is the first two are inconsistent with the third.
Conversely, do the GP really believe that EU members will “initiate programmes to support local economies against market centralization” (EU426)? I don’t, but if they did, they’d get the Greek treatment.
Given the above policy framework, it is little surprise that GP luminaries have lined up to support the EU. Caroline Lucas makes the point that the Tory “government are the loudest cheerleaders for TTIP, and ministers would happily create an equally dangerous bilateral deal with the US if we left the EU” . I agree: but of course if/when we leave the EU we can tear up this treaty with a change of UK government, something we cannot do while staying in the EU. She also makes the same point many Labour supporters do “exit would leave many of the things we hold dear—be it maternity pay, the right to join a trade union or providing refuge to those seeking sanctuary—in peril”. Quite possibly: but only if you think a progressive government could never be elected in the UK, which is again unbridled pessimism.