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Norwich Labour dodge Brexit debate

June 27, 2018 10:29 AM
Originally published by Norwich Liberal Democrats
James Wright at the #PeoplesVoteMarch

James Wright at the #PeoplesVoteMarch

At a meeting of Norwich City Council on Tuesday evening, Norwich's Labour leadership have dodged the issue of backing a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.

Following the second anniversary of the EU Referendum, and on the back of the highly successful People's Vote March in London on Saturday, Lib Dem Group Leader Cllr James Wright had asked councillors to back a call for a vote on the final deal, including the option to maintain full EU membership.

In his speech, Cllr Wright had highlighted some of the concerns expressed by both business and NHS workers about what a post-Brexit environment might look like.

What starts with democracy should end with democracy

He referred to a poll conducted last week showing that Britons favour a second referendum on Brexit by a 23 point margin. Nearly half of voters want a final say before Britain formally leaves the EU, according to the survey.

But in a bizarre twist, Labour's Cllr Alan Waters used an arcane part of the council's rulebook to avoid taking a decision on this Brexit motion.

Commenting, Cllr Wright said, "I am disappointed that the Labour leadership in Norwich felt unable to back a People's Vote - or even allow a vote on backing it. What starts with democracy should end with democracy. Whether the deal is any good should be up to the people - this should not be about Tory MPs marking the PMs homework and nodding through whatever deal David Davis lands us with."

He added, "Cllr Waters claimed that voting on this issue now would stop us having another debate on Brexit for 6 months. The is nothing that stops councillors talking about Brexit again, and we owe it to our communities to campaign to stop a damaging Brexit."

ENDS

The motion text can be read here

Cllr Wright's speech is available here.