Lancaster City Council supports '˜People's Vote' on EU membership

Lancaster City Councillors voted in favour of holding a People's Vote on EU membership to 'fix the political deadlock'.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 11:24 am
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 11:28 am

The People’s Vote motion was carried with 23 votes for, 14 against and six abstentions at a full council meeting on December 19.

Lancashire County Council recently voted against a motion to hold a People’s Vote on EU membership.

Labour Coun Nathan Burns, who represents University and Scotforth Rural Ward, said: “The Lancaster district will be devastated by the effects of Brexit, potentially putting huge numbers of jobs at risk, whether that’s in a no deal scenario or as a consequence of our Conservative government’s disastrous ‘deal’.

“Therefore I’m extremely pleased Lancaster City Councillors from all parties joined me in supporting the motion calling on a people’s vote to give the British people a chance to fix the political deadlock where our Westminster politicians have failed.”

But Green Party Coun Jon Barry, who voted to leave the EU in 2016, voted against the motion, saying a People’s Vote would be dangerous for democracy.

He said: “My view is that we should respect the way that people voted in the referendum and that the People’s Vote is about trying to change that vote because they didn’t like the original outcome.

“A leave supporter recently said to me ‘the establishment is trying to steal my vote’.

“I think that it would be very dangerous for democracy if the original vote was overturned.

“Many people who voted ‘leave’ will become completely disillusioned with politics and with voting.

“I worry that the country will be further divided and that this could lead to a rise in support for the extreme right and this could even lead to further violence.

“And supposing a second referendum voted to remain in the EU?

“People who wanted to leave would be justified in calling for a third referendum a year or so later.

“And so things would go on. My view is that we should try to find a deal to leave the EU.

“If whatever outcome was arrived at then in five or ten year’s time we should have another referendum to see if people wanted to rejoin the EU. I feel so strongly about this that I said (at the meeting) I would rather have a managed “no deal” than a second referendum.

“I recognise that there are practical difficulties with a “no deal” and I would want these to be mitigated as far as possible.”

The UK voted to leave the EU by 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent following a referendum on June 23 2016.

The Lancaster Distric also {|narrowly voted to leave the EU.

Parliament is expected to have a ‘meaningful vote’ on the government’s proposed deal in the new year.

Conservative Councillor Roger Mace, who seconded the original motion, added: “It is clear that a majority of those present believe as I do that if MPs cannot themselves find a way forward, a people’s vote may help.”