“Unite to remain” opportunities represent a game-changing solution to the stalemate created by the outdated British electoral system
Catherine Rowett, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Norwich South, has said that the arrangements announced between the Greens, Lib Democrats, and Plaid Cymru should be seen as an opportunity to change UK politics and help people to have their voices heard.
The three parties have come to an arrangement to ensure that in certain key seats the strong support for remaining in the EU can achieve its goal more effectively. In such seats, the one or two candidates will be standing aside, while encouraging voters to lend their votes to another party for this election alone. This will make seats that were once safe seats into marginal seats, and tip the balance in some marginal seats, to allow the pro-remain majority to be represented by a pro-remain MP instead of a Conservative or Labour MP.
In the East of England, the Green Party candidate will stand aside in North Norfolk, while the candidate who would have stood for the Liberal Democrats will stand aside in Bury St Edmunds.
Catherine Rowett said “Many voters have been frustrated for years by finding that their vote never has any effect. Many Green voters had their first ever success in May when they elected me as the first Green MEP for the East of England. That was under a proportional voting system. If we had a proportional system in the UK, the Green Party of England and Wales would have had up to 20 MPs after the 2015 General Election. One of the reasons why voters repeatedly retreat to parties that they do not really support, just to keep out a worse alternative, is because they rarely get a chance to elect an MP who represents their own ideas.
Setting aside our candidate in some constituency is not an ideal solution, but we consider it as a temporary sacrifice, to establish the possibility of a multi-party system. In the best of worlds, people would be allowed to choose from any party they like, and that is what we shall continue to offer in most seats across the country. Our ideology is fundamentally different from that of other parties, and it’s quite wrong to think that any remain party is the same as any other. We’d prefer to offer everyone the option of a genuine green vote, especially at this time when the climate emergency so urgently needs attention and when our countryside is under threat from overdevelopment, road building, soil degradation, incinerators and pollution in the rivers. Nonetheless it is better to have some Greens elected than none, so we have identified particular seats where there is the potential to secure for our voters a vastly improved representation in parliament. Caroline Lucas has been our sole voice for years in Westminster, but we get so many votes across the country that we deserve more like her in Westminster, not just in Brussels.
This is our chance to alter the configuration of the next government and not just alternate between two almost equally unpopular traditional parties.”
Daniel Laycock - email@example.com - 07824 017741 / 01480 353340
Notes to editors:
Catherine Rowett was elected as the first ever Green Party MEP for the East of England in May 2019.https://catherinerowett.org/
Dr Catherine Rowett was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in the European Elections in May 2019. She represents Eastern Region which covers Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Catherine is passionate about working for a greener future: addressing the climate and biodiversity crisis and creating a fairer, more localised economy. She is a keen supporter of collaborating across borders and supports the UK remaining in the European Union.
Catherine's background is as a university professor. Since 2003 she has worked at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where she lives, and she previously lived and worked in Cambridge. Catherine is a long-term Green Party activist and has previously stood as a Parliamentary candidate in South Norfolk.
You can find out more about Catherine's work in the European Parliament here:
You can read Catherine's biographical reflections on her life as an MEP at:
Catherine officially took office as an MEP in early July and her European Parliament web page is at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/197602/CATHERINE_ROWETT/home
In the European election results announced on the night of 26th May 2019, the Green Party won its first MEP seat for Eastern region, securing 202,460 votes.
Newly elected Green MEP Catherine Rowett has issued the following statement:
The results of this election speak loud and clear: the Eastern Region has a Green MEP for the first time. This is a vote for real change, and it reflects the view of thousands of voters who want to see a different kind of politics. As Greens we have put forward a clear position to remain in the EU, to work across borders on the climate emergency, and to secure a better future for people and planet. This success could not have happened without a large number of supporters and volunteers, and generous donations from ordinary people who care. Thank you to you all.
During this election campaign I have enjoyed visiting towns and villages around the East of England, meeting the public and talking to many Green councillors, and it is clear to me that people all over the region are yearning for a Greener future. I will be honoured to represent this region in the European Parliament and will strive to work for the Green future that voters have supported.
Our task now is to do what we have been elected to do. With my fellow Green MEPs, I will begin this huge and important task from tomorrow. Right now, we must simply send our very sincere thanks to everyone who had the courage to vote with their heart and their head, in the conviction that we need a different politics. I would also urge everyone who voted Green in this election to join the Green Party and become part of the Green movement in Europe. There is much work to be done.
Catherine Rowett is currently a professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where she has held her current post since 2003. She has previously held posts at the University of Liverpool and Swansea University in South Wales.
Catherine is a long-term Green Party activist and was the Green Party Parliamentary candidate for South Norfolk in 2015 and 2017. She is a keen supporter of collaboration across borders.
Catherine looks forward to working with UK Green MEPs, and with Green parties across Europe, to develop EU policies on agriculture, fisheries, taxation, aviation and energy that will tackle the global climate emergency, the rise of nationalism, and its underlying causes, such as inequality.
Promoted by Chris Rose on behalf of the Green Party, both at The Biscuit Factory, Unit 215 J Block, 100 Clements Road, London, SE16 4DG