GUE/NGL President urges EU reforms in the wake of Brexit vote
"Brexit should serve as a wake-up call to those who care about the European project."
In response to the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer, comments:
"We totally respect the British electorate's democratic rights and wishes. It is now up to Brussels and London to find the best way forward that is fair to both sides during the exit negotiations."
"Regretfully, the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union. In a campaign based on fear mongering, misinformation and half-truths on both sides, British voters were given a binary choice between an increasingly undemocratic, unaccountable neoliberal agenda of the European Union, or a nostalgic, xenophobic and anti-immigration vision for the UK.
"The UK must assume responsibility for this decision immediately. We do not accept David Cameron's proposal to wait until October for a new Prime Minister to decide when to begin the formal withdrawal negotiations. Today is the day that the people of the UK decided to leave. We will not accept that Cameron plays a dirty game now in order to win time to find ways not to implement the result of the referendum.
"Looking towards our Irish friends and colleagues we hope that the Irish peace process will continue and that UK leaving the EU will not make the process stop or deteriorate.
"We support our Irish colleagues' call for a vote on Irish reunificiation following the UK's departure from the EU.
"The European Union must reflect on Brexit and take a hard look at itself as to why a majority of British voters chose to leave after 43 years and why there is also distrust growing among EU citizens towards the EU.
"The EU is in dire need of progressive reform, and its neoliberal and austerity-driven agenda has not only harmed the soon-to-be 27 member states, but is haemorrhaging support from those struggling for a social EU based on solidarity.
"The problem will only be exacerbated if progressive reform is further delayed. Brexit and the rise of Euroscepticism is a damning indictment that a neoliberal elite has detached itself and the EU institutions from a majority of the population.
"Brexit should serve as a wake-up call to those who care about the European project," Zimmer concludes.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20