Jean Lambert, Member of the European Parliament for the Green Party of England and Wales and Eva Lichtenberger, former Member of the European Parliament for the Austrian Green Party, discussed the recent developments of the upcoming Brexit. The event was moderated by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sibylle Baumbach, head of the Academic Network BritInn.
The speakers emphasised the unease and uncertainty among Europe's citizens, caused by the imponderability within the British Parliament. A plan to prevent a no-deal Brexit in March 2019 by giving Members of the Parliament the power to request an extension to Article 50, has failed to receive the backing of the Commons. As a result, what will happen after Brexit became even more unclear.
Jean Lambert stated that there will probably be a “last minute deal” as a “hard Brexit” would put Britain in a very difficult position for any future negotiations. Eva Lichtenberger agreed and declared her concerns about an unclear transition and the ongoing negotiations. Moreover, both discussed on the EU’s position on Brexit and the different possible outcomes with the audience. Needless to say, these are difficult to predict due to the numerous uncertainties. However, Lambert and Lichtenberger agreed that no matter what the outcome will be, Article 50 has to be thoroughly revised, in order to ensure that such a chaotic withdrawal will never happen again in the future.
More information about the speakers:
Jean Lambert has been London’s Green Member of the European Parliament since 1999. She is a member of The Employment and Social Affairs Committee working on issues including immigration, social inclusion, workers’ rights and social security. She is the Vice President of the Intergroup on Ageing, on Anti-poverty and on Anti-racism & Diversity. She is also a member of the Intergroups on Disability and Gay & Lesbian rights, as well as the spokesperson on asylum and refugees for the Green Party.
Eva Lichtenberger has been a Member of the European Parliament for the Austrian Green Party from 2004-2014. She has been a consulting member of the environmental committee of the city of Hall. In 1989, she became a member of the Tyrolian Landtag and was fraction leader until 1994. From 1994 to 1999 she was the first member of the Austrian Green Party to become a minister in the state council, with the portfolio for environmental affairs. From 1999 to 2004 she was also a Member of the National Council of Austria.