Green Party motion on ‘People’s Vote’ to go to full Council next Tuesday 16th October 2018

12 October 2018

Greens for a Peoples VoteThe Green Party are putting forward a motion to Exeter City Council next Tuesday [1] urging councillors to back a ‘People’s Vote’ [2] on the final Brexit deal. Campaigners are expected to provide a colourful and noisy reception to councillors as they arrive at the Guildhall for the meeting which begins at 6pm. 

There has been increasing public and cross-party support for such a vote in recent months, with one petition heading towards a million signatures [3]. Greens and Lib Dems have long supported the idea and at Labour’s autumn conference delegates passed a motion which agreed to keep ‘all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote’ [4]. 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% [5] and a majority across the country now favour remaining in the EU [6].

The Green motion comes days ahead of a People’s Vote rally in London next Saturday [7] and follows a similar rally in June this year which attracted 100,000 people [8]. Organisers are hoping for many more to join the October rally.

Greens point to the fact that 55% of Exeter residents who voted in the EU referendum opted 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, 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 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 now need a vote on the reality of what Brexit actually means rather than the false promises that the Leave side offered. It’s time to let the people decide the best way forward, and this must include an option to remain in the EU.”

Lib Dem councillor, Kevin Mitchell, will propose the motion in Clllr Musgrave's absense. He said:

"On the 23rd of June 2016 the British people voted to begin the process of the UK leaving the European Union. This was the start of the process, not the end. Over the last two years a lot has changed and ultimately the British people and not the politicians should be allowed to determine whether they still wish to go ahead with that decision or whether they now wish to remain within the European Union.

"Brexit crosses political boundaries so I am calling upon all my City Council colleagues to support this motion and in doing so help to ensure the British people get the final say."

Notes

[1] http://committees.exeter.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=114&MId=5798&Ver=4 See item 17 for full motion. In the absence of Chris Musgrave, Cllr Kevin Mitchell will propose the motion.

[2] https://www.peoples-vote.uk/about

[3] https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-give-people-a-final-say-on-brexit-deal

[4]

[5] https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/south-west-brexit-vote-bath-1876881

[6] https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/brexit-news-latest-majority-of-brits-now-want-to-remain-in-the-eu-anaylsis-of-nearly-150-polls-finds-a3956181.html

[7] https://www.peoples-vote.uk/march

[8] https://inews.co.uk/opinion/comment/the-peoples-vote-march-got-100000-people-on-the-streets-to-protest-brexit-next-time-it-will-be-a-million/

 

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

 

Contacts

Cllr Chris Musgrave:  07872301974