Calls for borough council to consider its position on Brexit People's Vote
PUBLISHED: 14:29 14 December 2018 | UPDATED: 07:22 18 December 2018
A call for St Edmundsbury Borough Council to consider its position for a People's Vote on Brexit will be made next week.
Green Party councillor Julia Wakelam will invite council leader John Griffiths to look at whether the authority should support the vote by recommending it to local MPs Jo Churchill and Matt Hancock.
Ms Wakelam, who represents Bury St Edmunds’ Risbygate ward, said the council “must now show leadership” to ensure St Edmundsbury residents have the chance to decide with “full knowledge of the facts”.
She said: “The council has as two of its strategic priorities – growing West Suffolk’s economy and creating resilient and healthy communities. These are now threatened by the long drawn out process of Brexit.
“It must now show leadership and use its influence to ensure that St Edmundsbury residents, whether they voted to leave or to remain, have the opportunity to decide with full knowledge of the facts whether or not they wish to accept any deal proposed by the Government, even if that is no deal, or to remain in the EU.”
Ms Wakelam said a survey by The People’s Vote campaign in the Bury St Edmunds constituency in the autumn found that an average of 63% of respondents want a People’s Vote on the terms of the Brexit deal with an option to remain.
She added: “People, whether they voted to remain or to leave, have become disillusioned by the whole process. The survey found that over 60% of respondents felt it had had an adverse impact on their lives, the NHS and the local economy.”
Ms Wakelam’s request, which will be made at the full council meeting on December 18, will be supported by Labour borough councillor Diane Hind, who also called for the public to be allowed to decide on Brexit.
She said: “Theresa May’s deal bears almost no resemblance to the version of Brexit voters were sold during the 2016 referendum campaign and satisfies no one.
“It is also far worse than the benefits we currently enjoy as a full member of the EU.
“The alternative of a no-deal Brexit is predicted to have an even worse impact on the economy. The only solution is to allow the public to decide through a People’s Vote.”
John Griffiths, St Edmundsbury Borough Council leader, said: “Councillors of course have the right to ask the leader questions at full council which is something I welcome.”