Lancaster City Councillors call for '˜People's Vote' on EU membership
Some Lancaster politicians - including one veteran Conservative councillor - are calling for a 'People's Vote' on EU membership.
Green Party Coun Caroline Jackson, backed by Conservative Coun Roger Mace, said that prior to the UK leaving the EU, a national People’s Vote should be held where voters can make their final choice.
A motion has been scheduled for debate by councillors on December 19.
This week, Prime Minister Theresa May postponed a vote in Parliament on her deal with the EU.
It was widely accepted that her deal would be voted down by a majority of MPs.
Coun Mace said: “The world is not the same carefree place that it was in June 2016.
“In choosing Brexit on that occasion, the voting public knew little about the reality of the option in front of them.
“Some say the purpose then was to give the toff Cameron a kicking. We are better informed now of the riskiness of the decision.
“When there was such a huge gap in public understanding about the economic consequences and trade offs of leaving the EU it seems right that MPs try to resume their role as representatives rather than delegates.
But if MPs cannot themselves find a way forward, a people’s vote may help and that is why I am seconding this motion.”
Coun Carla Brayshaw, deputy Leader of the Labour group on Lancaster City Council, said: “Although what happens next with Brexit is an issue for national politicians in Westminster, the impact will affect communities across the UK.
“Whether they voted for Remain or Leave, people from across the political spectrum have very different ideas about the best way forward and I’m sure this will be reflected in the debate on this motion.
“Whatever the outcome and whatever happens with Brexit, the one thing that is crystal clear is that this Conservative Government are making a complete pig’s ear of things.”
Coun Charlie Edwards said: “We had a people’s vote on June 23 2016. The Lancaster District and the United Kingdom voted to Leave the European Union.
“This smacks of politicians of all colours ignoring democracy and taking their voters for granted.”
The motion also notes that there are currently 10,000 EU nationals working and studying in the district, mainly at Lancaster University and within the health service.
It says that many councils across the UK including, in the North West - Trafford, Liverpool, Stockport, Preston, Knowsley and Warrington - have each adopted motions supporting calls for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit Deal. Other councils have carried out impact studies on how their area will be affected by Brexit and the motion asks for impact studies on the effects that leaving the EU will have on the economy in Lancashire.