Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. At the G8 a problem shared is a problem shelved (Times)

Adam Boulton looks ahead to the G8 without much hope for change.

2. A swing of the handbag reveals Mrs May's ambition (Telegraph)

David Cameron is relaxed about his colleagues wanting the top job. Just as well, says Matthew D'Ancona, as the Home Secretary has made it clear she believes she could lead the Tories.

3. The limits of Chinese parochialism (South China Morning Post)

Philip Bowring urges Beijing to see itself as more than an Asian power and to play a positive role in world affairs, while stressing that in light of Edward Snowden's presence, Hong Kong must get over its fixation with mainland China and the West.

4. Let's capitalise on the social enterprise boom (Independent)

Nick Hurd stresses importance of businesses and organisations that use profit to help to find better social solutions.

5. Bring on a British revolution - it's long overdue (Observer)

We've never managed more than a few riots – we need something more radical, says Kevin McKenna

6. Bad Idea, Mr President (IHT)

Syria is like Iraq, only worse, writes Ramzy Mardini, and arming the rebels will pour fuel on the fire.

7. Natural justice faces a savage loss of innocence (Observer)

Plans to reduce legal aid are an unwarranted assault on the very nature of our legal system, writes Nick Cohen.

8. Fight back youngsters, Gran is mugging you (Times)

After paying the pensions and health bills of older Britons, today’s generation can’t even afford their own homes.

9. Homer Simpson isn't a positive role model for kids? Eat my shorts... (Observer)

The report criticising TV comedies for their negative depictions of fathers is at once joyless and opportunistic, says David Mitchell.

10. Money calls the shots in state schools (Telegraph)

The Government refuses to increase selection on academic ability, writes Jenny McCartney, so we select instead on the basis of wealth, which is apparently more acceptable.

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After a year of chaos, MPs from all parties are trying to stop an extreme Brexit

The Greens are calling for a cross-party commission on Brexit.

One year ago today, I stood on Westminster Bridge as the sun rose over a changed country. By a narrow margin, on an unexpectedly high turnout, a majority of people in Britain had chosen to leave the EU. It wasn’t easy for those of us on the losing side – especially after such scaremongering from the leaders of the Leave campaign – but 23 June 2016 showed the power of a voting opportunity where every vote counted.

A year on from the vote, and the process is in chaos. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. The Leave campaign deliberately never spelled out any detailed plan for Brexit, and senior figures fought internal battles over which model they preferred. One minute Britain would be like Norway, then we’d be like Canada – and then we’d be unique. After the vote Theresa May promised us a "Red, White and Blue Brexit" – and then her ministers kept threatening the EU with walking away with no deal at all which, in fairness, would be unique(ly) reckless. 

We now have our future being negotiated by a government who have just had their majority wiped out. More than half of voters opted for progressive parties at the last election – yet the people representing us in Brussels are the right-wing hardliners David Davis, Liam Fox and Boris Johnson.

Despite widespread opposition, the government has steadfastly refused to unilaterally guarantee EU citizens their rights. This week it has shown its disregard for the environment as it published a Queen’s Speech with no specific plans for environmental protection in the Brexit process either. 

Amid such chaos there is, however, a glimmer of hope. MPs from all parties are working together to stop an extreme Brexit. Labour’s position seems to be softening, and it looks likely that the Scottish Parliament will have a say on the final deal too. The Democratic Unionist Party is regressive in many ways, but there’s a good chance that the government relying on it will soften Brexit for Northern Ireland, at least because of the DUP's insistence on keeping the border with Ireland open. My amendments to the Queen’s speech to give full rights to EU nationals and create an Environmental Protection Act have cross-party support.

With such political instability here at home – and a growing sense among the public that people deserve a final say on any deal - it seems that everything is up for grabs. The government has no mandate for pushing ahead with an extreme Brexit. As the democratic reformers Unlock Democracy said in a recent report “The failure of any party to gain a majority in the recent election has made the need for an inclusive, consensus based working even more imperative.” The referendum should have been the start of a democratic process, not the end of one.

That’s why Greens are calling for a cross-party commission on Brexit, in order to ensure that voices from across the political spectrum are heard in the process. And it’s why we continue to push for a ratification referendum on the final deal negotiated by the government - we want the whole country to have the last word on this, not just the 650 MPs elected to the Parliament via an extremely unrepresentative electoral system.

No one predicted what would happen over the last year. From the referendum, to Theresa May’s disastrous leadership and a progressive majority at a general election. And no one knows exactly what will happen next. But what’s clear is that people across this country should be at the centre of the coming debate over our future – it can’t be stitched up behind closed doors by ministers without a mandate.

Caroline Lucas is the MP for Brighton Pavilion.

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