Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Jenny Jones, the pro-Brexit Green peer, recants (sort of)

Embed from Getty Images

It's easy to forget that the Green Party's only parliamentarian besides Caroline Lucas at the time of the EU referendum, the peer Jenny Jones, voted Leave and campaigned for Leave.

She made "the Green case for Brexit" in the Guardian a fortnight before polling day.

Today Jenny Jones published a partial recantation on Politics Home website:

I’m fed up with the government’s Brexit mess. This government has made such a mess of Brexit that I think we have to start talking to the EU about options for restoring closer ties.

Unlike most others in my party, I voted for Brexit and campaigned for Brexit. I was with the majority of voters in the referendum and like many of them, I now have serious misgivings. A poll last week found that for the first time a majority of people want to rejoin the EU.

Things are shifting as the realities of long queues at the border, roaming charges and export companies going bankrupt, become an everyday norm. There are people making specialist bread, exporting sea food or wine, who can’t sell to Europe anymore because of the form filling. It’s crippled hundreds of small businesses. 
For me, the worse thing is the stories of crops being left to rot in the ground due a shortage of labour when we have millions in the United Kingdom going without food.

All these points were foreseeable and foreseen before the referendum.

Her response at the time in that Guardian article?:

My message to Green voters and anyone undecided on this issue is don’t give in to Project Fear. 

What surprises me more than this failure to understand the economic effect of Brexit is her woeful political judgement. 

Why didn't she grasp that a victory for Leave and the forces behind it would bring about the precise opposite of the kinder, greener, decentralised Britain she sought?

I made a similar complaint of Paul Keetch and his Liberal Leave in March 2016 when he criticised the EU's attitude to refugees.

Still, when I mentioned Jones's belated conversion this afternoon, Lord Bonkers remarked:

"As our Lord said, and I think rightly, 'I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.'"

Mind you, he did use salty language when I told him Jones had cited Tony Benn and Bob Crow as her political heroes.


Paul Barker said...

She did buy some of my paintings so she's not all bad. However, she was largely responsible for the "Opening on The Left" strategy which will come back to bite them when we finally get Fair Votes.

Anonymous said...

She was on Radio 4's Any Questions from Bridport about three weeks ago. She was asked then about her position on Brexit and she was dreadful - evasive, self-exonerating and generally shifty, and went out of her way to avoid saying that she now thought that she was wrong to take the stance she did in 2016. She was given ample opportunity to make a genteel climb-down, but she refused all the offers made to her. I'm afraid I lost a lot of respect for her after that.

Jonathan Calder said...

Yes, the more you read her article the less apologetic it sounds.