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Local views on national Brexit indecision

By Bridget Osborne

Local views on national Brexit indecision 11 December 2018

The postponement by Theresa May of a ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit in parliament has met with an unusual amount of political agreement locally. Helen Cross, Liberal Democrat spokeswoman for Hounslow, who stood for Turnham Green ward in the recent local elections, said she felt a mixture of horror and massive disappointment. “It’s so uninspiring” she said “as a spectacle it is rather pathetic”… “There’s no leadership”.

Her party has been campaigning consistently and almost unanimously for a second referendum. “I come from the north of England and so does my other half. We do a lot of canvassing and meet a lot of people and I can tell you people are changing their minds. They realise they’ve been lied to. We can’t trust parliament when it’s broken down and people deserve the respect to be able to have another vote”.

Sam Hearn, leader of the Conservative group of councillors in Chiswick, believes it is not the place of local councillors to comment on national politics over which they have no influence, especially as the Conservative party is so split on the issue, but Julian Tanner, chairman of Brentford and Isleworth Conservative Association, is happy to comment.

“It has been an incredibly difficult process to get so many diverse factions to come together and coalesce around a solution and the Prime Minister has been doing her honest best. All we can hope is that the EU will see that and help to find a solution to this impasse”.

Though more willing than Helen to give his own party leader the benefit of the doubt, he agrees with the Liberal Democrats that there should be a People’s Vote. “Personally I would like the opportunity for a vote” he told me “as this is the most important decision in a generation and when the referendum took place we voted based on promises that have since been shown to be either not achievable or just not true. I believe another vote would be the most democratic step to take”.

Ruth Cadbury, Labour MP for Brentford and Isleworth, says “By cancelling the vote … the Prime Minster has just deferred her inevitable defeat on the Withdrawal Agreement vote. Listening to her answers she gave to MPs’ questions this afternoon, it’s clear she has no room to manoeuvre between the European Research Group and the EU. This is basically because leaving the EU was always going to be far harder than the Leave Campaign made out during the Referendum campaign, and it will make the UK and its people far worse off than the deal we have now as full voting members. If we can’t have a general election, we need to put the vote back to the people, with all the implications made clear, and including the option to remain”.

A rare moment of cross party agreement in Chiswick.

We wants it … my preciousssss

Meanwhile in Number 10 Downing Street … Andy Serkis, the actor who does the voice of Gollum in Lord of the Rings does a very unnerving spoof of the Prime Minister arguing with herself about her Brexit deal.

Watch the video here