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Philippe Lamberts on Brexit, Venezuela and European Elections

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Philippe Lamberts on Brexit, Venezuela and European Elections
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Venezuela, Brexit, European Elections - some of the main topics the European Union's will focus on this year. Euronews' Isabelle Kumar discussed all these issues with Philippe Lamberts, co-chair of the Greens/EFA group on Good Morning Europe.

Brexit

“There is a lot of frustration, because there is a persistent denial of reality by many British politicians or they fake denial of reality actually they know the constraints, but they pretend that they don’t exist,”

The UK is set to depart the EU next month and two sides are scrambling to agree on divorce terms, namely due to issues over the so-called Irish backstop, a provision to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“It was at the British government’s insistence that we extended this backstop to the entire United Kingdom, we EU27 were not that happy doing that - we would have preferred a special treatment for Northern Ireland - but we conceded a whole EU-UK backstop and now they are not happy with that,”

Read more: Brexit: what ‘alternative arrangements’ are there to the Irish backstop?

Venezuela

Lamberts talked about the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela and why his party abstained from the vote on the resolution to recognise Juan Guaidó as interim President of the country.

“We abstained on it - not because we have any sympathy for the Maduro regime, which is basically driving the country into the abyss, but also because we do not believe that self-proclamation is the right way to ensure democratic transitions,”

“As far as we are concerned the Maduro regime needs to go, but what we want is a peaceful transition and right now I’m not sure that this is the way we are headed,”

Read more: Maduro declares challenge to his leadership 'over' as he attacks EU

European Elections

In light of continent-wide, student-led climate marches, the Greens are growing hopeful that they will gain substantial momentum in the upcoming EU elections.

“When you look at the elections that took place in October in Bavaria, in Luxembourg, in Belgium, what we witnessed there is that for people disgruntled by the neo-liberal policy-making that we have seen in the last 30 years in Europe you might have thought until then, that the only alternative option was the national populists and what appeared then is that the Greens provide also a credible alternative and yes indeed we might gain in the next European election,”

Read more: European election 2019 - this time will be different

Click on the player above to watch the full interview with Philippe Lamberts.