Exeter Greens call on City Council to back ‘People’s Vote’ on the final Brexit deal

21 August 2018

The Green Party are to put forward a motion to Exeter City Council urging councillors to back a ‘People’s Vote’ on the final Brexit deal [see Green Party Motion to Exeter City Council below]. There has been increasing public support for such a vote in recent months, with one petition having reached almost 700,000 signatures. In the South West, a recent poll found that people across the region back a vote on the Brexit deal by a margin of 42% to 35% and a majority now favour remaining in the EU.

The Greens also point to the fact that 55% of Exeter residents who voted in the EU referendum voted to remain in the EU and that Exeter sends a greater proportion of its exports to the EU than any other UK city.   

The motion calls on the City Council to express support publicly for a People’s Vote on the final terms of any Brexit deal and to write to local MP, Ben Bradshaw, and the Prime Minister, Theresa May, informing them of Exeter City Council’s decision to support such a vote.

Chris Musgrave, Green councillor for Alphington, who will put the motion to a Full Council meeting in September, said:

“The EU referendum should be seen as the beginning of a democratic process, not the end of one. In light of the changing mood of people across the region and the strong support for EU membership in Exeter by residents and businesses I hope councillors will agree it’s time to back a People’s Vote. The serious breaches of electoral law by the Leave campaign also strengthens the case for a such a poll and casts doubt on the legitimacy of the result of the 2016 EU referendum.

“For many people, the economic, environmental and social impacts of Brexit have only become apparent since the referendum. It is clear we need a final say on our membership of the EU once we know exactly what the alternative to EU membership will look like.”

 

Green Party Motion to Exeter City Council [with further links]

Proposed by Cllr Chris Musgrave. Seconded by Cllr Kevin Mitchell.

This Council notes:

  • 55% of Exeter residents who voted in the EU referendum voted to remain in the EU [1].
  • Exeter has a greater share of exports to the EU than any other city in the UK (70% of exports from the city are destined for EU countries) [2].
  • A recent Local Business Survey showed that confidence among SMEs in the West of England in the government to deliver a Brexit that works for business is on the wane, with only 11.69% of 230 businesses polled being confident or very confident that there will be a good deal [3].
  • Polling in July 2018 found that 71% of British people disapprove of how the Brexit negotiations are being handled [4].
  • Polling in August 2018 found that voters in the South West of England back a second referendum on the Brexit deal by a margin of 42% to 35% [5].

This Council believes:

  • That the EU referendum on 23rd June 2016 should be considered the beginning of a democratic process, not the end of one.
  • That the conclusion by the Electoral Commission that the Leave campaign committed serious offences by breaking electoral law casts doubt on the legitimacy of the result of the 2016 referendum [6].
  • That new information on the way the referendum campaign was conducted and the economic, environmental and social impacts of Brexit, which have come to light since the referendum, may have altered some voters’ preferences regarding desired outcomes of the Brexit negotiations.
  • That giving the British people a final say on the Brexit negotiations will help to rebuild trust and engagement in the political process.

This Council resolves:

  • To express our support publicly for a People’s Vote on the final terms of any Brexit deal.
  • To write to our local MP, Ben Bradshaw, and the Prime Minister, Theresa May, informing them that Exeter City Council has passed this motion in support of a People’s Vote.

Notes

[1] http://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/update/2016-06-24/eu-referendum-exeter-votes-remain/

[2] Cities Outlook 2017 See page 19.

[3] https://www.businesswest.co.uk/blog/business-confidence-brexit-negotiations-dwindling-questions-remain-unanswered

[4] https://www.orb-international.com/2018/07/09/orb-monthly-brexit-tracker-july/

[5] https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/most-south-west-voters-want-1877566

[6] https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/journalist/electoral-commission-media-centre/news-releases-donations/vote-leave-fined-and-referred-to-the-police-for-breaking-electoral-law