Commenting following the conclusion of the EU summit and David Cameron's announcement to hold the UK's EU referendum on 23 June, Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts stated:
"Now that we know the date of the UK referendum on its membership of the EU, it is time for the real discussion to start – a discussion that focuses not on the narrow terms of David Cameron’s ‘deal’ but on the real issues about the UK’s relationship with the rest of Europe. It’s time to focus on the genuine benefits to the UK of being part of the EU - and the benefits that the UK brings to the rest of the EU. The EU is about so much more than just the Single Market – it always has been. British people need to make their decision based on the bigger picture – that Europe’s environmental, social and economic challenges are best faced by acting together.
The Greens/EFA group firmly believes that the UK’s place should be at the heart of Europe. But we also believe that the process of reform of the EU should not stop with this referendum. There is still much more than can and should be improved in the way the EU works, issues of far more importance to European citizens than just those areas covered by the UK’s ‘deal’. But the only way to address these issues is collectively, from within the EU. That is why it is so important that the UK votes to remain in the EU, based on a clear understanding of what is at stake. Then the real work to reform the EU can begin."