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Stop Brexit Bus heads to Kent on Green Party's 2019 European election campaign trail

By Matt Leclere

The 'Stop Brexit Bus' will be touring around Kent tomorrow on the campaign trail before the European elections this week.

The Green Party's electric vehicle is stopping in four locations around the county culminating its trip in the south east at the White Cliffs in Dover.

The bus will also stop off in Ramsgate, Tonbridge, and Tunbridge Wells, en route to Dover ending its journey hours before the polls open on Thursday.

The Stop Brexit Bus launched in Brighton as part of the Green Party's campaign for the European elections. Picture: JJ Waller (10826457)
The Stop Brexit Bus launched in Brighton as part of the Green Party's campaign for the European elections. Picture: JJ Waller (10826457)

Voters will have the opportunity to meet the Green candidates battling it out to become one of the 10 MEPs for the south east region at the European Parliament in Brussels.

The Greens say they will fight to prevent the "disaster of Brexit" while continuing to campaign for climate change and free movement.

The bus, which is charged by solar power and runs entirely on electric power, has been touring around the south east starting in Brighton before heading on to places including Oxford, Southampton, Portsmouth and Eastbourne.

It will begin at Tunbridge Wells opposite The Great Hall at 11am, moving to Tonbridge station at 12.30pm, and stopping in Harbour Parade in Ramsgate from 3pm, and finally under the shadow of the White Cliffs in Marine Parade, Dover at 5pm.

Green Party candidate for the 2019 European elections Alexandra Phillips. Picture: JJ Waller (10826436)
Green Party candidate for the 2019 European elections Alexandra Phillips. Picture: JJ Waller (10826436)

The party's leading candidate, Alexandra Phillips, who is bidding to take over the mantle from incumbent MEP Keith Taylor, says they will "strain every sinew" to end Brexit.

She said: "We’ll do so much more. We’ll be in the European Parliament for the next five years, creating policies and a politics that can transform this country - and the rest of the EU.

"We’ll fight for freedom of movement and we will put forward the most ambitious climate plans possible, including working with colleagues from across the continent for an EU-wide Green New Deal."

All the main parties will be fielding candidates including the Conservatives, Labour, Greens and the Liberal Democrats.

Gavin Esler (9046031)
Gavin Esler (9046031)

The newly formed Change UK party - the breakaway group from Labour who want to remain in the EU - will also stand candidates including University of Kent chancellor and BBC journalist, Gavin Esler.

But opinion polls suggest the new Brexit party founded by former Ukip leader Nigel Farage is poised to win the election.

Farage is the number one candidate in the south east for his party.

With prime minister Theresa May still seeking a deal to leave the European Union, new MEPs could only serve a few months if a deal is struck before October 31.

Nigel Farage is standing for the new Brexit Party as their leading candidate in the south east
Nigel Farage is standing for the new Brexit Party as their leading candidate in the south east

Councils face spending thousands of pounds planning and organising the elections.

The previous election in 2014 cost Kent councils more than £2 million but the bill could increase after some authorities held other elections on polling day five years ago and will not this year.

The UK is divided into 12 regions, each represented by between three and 10 MEPs depending on population size, ending with a total of 73.

Head to our politics page for expert analysis and all the latest news from your politicians and councils.

Find out more about Brexit in Kent here.

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