Lewes District Council calls for a ‘People’s Vote’ on Brexit

1 December 2018

In a week in which Brexit has rarely left the headlines, Lewes District Council have added their voice to demands for a ‘people’s vote’.

Green District Councillor Jo Carter said she was ‘delighted’ that the Council had agreed to the Green Party proposal, which means that the Leader of the Council will formally request a ‘people's vote’ or referendum on whether or not to accept the final Brexit deal.

Councillor Carter said “In a turbulent week in which even our Conservative MP, Maria Caulfield seems to be coming out of the closet on the need for a People’s Vote, we are delighted that the District Council is sending a strong clear message. People need to know what they are voting on. The Green party has campaigned tirelessly on this issue both nationally and locally.”

“This government seems determined to drive us over a cliff edge at the end of March. None of the options on the table are close to what people thought they were voting for two years ago. We are being given the choice of becoming a rule-taker or the complete chaos of a no-deal. It’s time to bring the choice back to the people, including an option of remaining in the EU.”

At the same meeting, the council also agreed to step up preparations and planning for Brexit, including carrying out a local impact assessment, and setting up a task force looking into the potential problems with import and export at Newhaven Port.
Green Councillor Jo Carter said “I brought this motion to Lewes District Council because I’m really worried about the effects Brexit will have on local people, our economy, and our environment. If Brexit does take place at the end of March, we are hopelessly underprepared. If we don’t step up our efforts there is the prospect of traffic standstills from Newhaven causing chaos; of customs and immigrations controls that aren’t in place; of thousands of pounds in lost income from tourism and job losses for residents. We would lose our environmental protections that safeguard our beautiful downland and valleys – with no guarantee these are replaced.

“Brexit threatens to take away our freedom to choose where we live and work. Even the government’s own assessments say that any form of Brexit will damage our economy – making life more expensive for everyone. That’s why I’m reassured that the council has listened to our proposals and that a proper impact assessment will now take place.”

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