Caroline Lucas will join the SNP and Labour rebels in voting down Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal in parliament today.
The Green MP said she wants to avoid being complicit in the creation of a “poorer, smaller UK with diminished global influence”, adding that “we have given up a three-course meal and what we’ve got in exchange is a packet of crisps.”
Writing for the Independent, she explained: “This hardest of Brexit deals, for which there was no mandate – the first in history that increases barriers and costs rather than decreases them – is one that cuts British jobs, sidelines Britain’s service sector, undermines hard-won protections for the environment, workers’ rights and for consumers, and turns Kent into a diesel-stained monument to hubris and political myopia.
“I don’t remember any of that appearing on the side of a bus in 2016.”
“Plainly wrong for our country”
Lucas said she believes the deal would pass without the support of opposition parties, pointing out Labour is preparing to back a deal that it admits “will make this country poorer and hit the most vulnerable hardest of all”.
She said she will not abstain as it is “standing aside and allowing something to be passed into law which is plainly wrong for our country”.
“At this time of climate and nature emergency, I am not prepared to acquiesce to lower environmental standards and less rigorous enforcement of them.
“And I will not be complicit in the creation of a smaller United Kingdom with diminished global influence.
“Voting for this deal would giving my approval to what I believe is a grotesque mistake of historic proportions. Tragically too late, opinion polls indicate that a clear majority of people in this country now agree.”
Elsewhere Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is facing a high-profile revolt over his decision to back Johnson’s trade deal.
Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and ex-cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw are among the signatories to a statement calling on opposition parties not to support the “rotten” agreement, The Guardian reported.
Sir Keir has said that he will call on Labour MPs to support the “thin” post-Brexit free trade agreement, despite misgivings that it would fail to protect many key economic sectors.
He argued, however, that the alternative of ending the Brexit transition period on December 31 without a deal in place would be even worse for the economy.
However, his stance has upset some pro-Europeans in the party who say they should not support a flawed agreement and should abstain instead.
The statement has been organised by Another Europe is Possible and Labour for a Socialist Europe – both on the left – but has attracted support from both wings of the party, according to The Guardian.
As well as Mr Bradshaw, the paper said the signatories included ex-cabinet minister Lord Adonis from the Blairite wing of the party.
From the left, Mr McDonnell is joined another former shadow cabinet minister Clive Lewis.