Green Party motion on ‘People’s Vote’ passed by large majority of Exeter City Council councillors.

A motion to Exeter City Council backing a ‘People’s Vote’ [1] on the final Brexit deal passed with a large majority at the full council meeting last night. The motion [2], put forward by Green Party councillor Chris Musgrave, secured 21 votes in favour, with only 7 against. Campaigners provided a colourful reception to councillors as they arrived for the meeting, waving EU flags and urging councillors to vote in favour of the motion. Andrew Bell, a Green Party activist who attended the meeting, said: 

“We heard speech after impassioned speech in favour not only of a People’s Vote but also of remaining part of the EU. I am delighted that nearly all the Labour councillors at the meeting supported this motion, it demonstrates they understand the potentially devastating impacts Brexit could have on the people of Exeter and how important our relationship with the EU is. 70% of exports from the city are destined for EU countries, a higher proportion than any other city in the UK [3] and confidence among local businesses that a successful deal can be reached with the EU is rock bottom [4].”

 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 MPs, Ben Bradshaw and Hugo Squire as well as Prime Minister Theresa May, informing them of Exeter City Council’s decision to support such a vote.

Chris Musgrave, Green councillor for Alphington, said:

 “I’m delighted that the vast majority of councillors have recognised that the EU referendum should be seen as the beginning of a democratic process not the end of one. With the government making a total shambles of the Brexit negotiations, the changing mood of people across the region towards Brexit, and strong support for EU membership in Exeter, it is clear we now need a vote on the reality of what Brexit actually means.

In Cllr Musgrave’s absence, the motion was proposed by Lib Dem councillor for Duryard and St James, Kevin Mitchell. He said:

Brexit crosses political boundaries and I am pleased that this important motion gained cross-party support. Exeter City Council now officially recognises that it is time to let the people decide the best way forward, and this must include an option to remain in the EU.”

Many thousands are expected to join a People’s Vote march in London this Saturday [5]. A similar event in June saw 100,000 take to the streets [6].  




[2] See full motion passed and further notes below

[3] See page 19.




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

 Proposed by Cllr Kevin Mitchell and seconded by Cllr Luke Sills.

 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 MPs, Ben Bradshaw [and Hugo Squire[, and the Prime Minister, Theresa May, informing them that Exeter City Council has passed this motion in support of a People’s Vote.




[2] See page 19.






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