10:43AM, Friday 28 September 2018
Brexiteers and self-proclaimed ‘remoaners’ debated a motion calling on the Government to give the British public a vote on the final terms of leaving the EU at a Slough Borough Council (SBC) last night (Thursday).
The motion, submitted by SBC leader Cllr James Swindlehurst (Lab, Cippenham Green), asks for the public to have a vote on any final deal with the EU because the Government has failed to ‘properly advance the interests of the UK in its discussions about Britain’s departure’.
Cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection Cllr Pavitar Mann (Lab, Britwell and Northborough) who seconded the motion, said she was ‘unashamedly a remoaner’ and says the public did not know the terms of leaving before voting.
“The easiest negotiations in history are not, unfortunately, what has panned out,” Cllr Swindlehurst said.
At the meeting at The Curve, William Street, Cllr Swindlehurst said the motion was inspired by a conversation with someone from a large company which has been in Slough for a long time.
He said he was told the company was considering leaving the UK completely based on how current negotiations are going.
Responding to criticisms from Councillor Anna Wright (Con, Haymill and Lynch Hill) about a recent SBC Brexit impact assessment being too ‘negative’, Cllr Swindlehurst said: “The Brexit assessment was conducted neutrally by our finance team.
“It’s fairly negative, Cllr Wright, that’s because the effects are going to be negative to our economy.”
Responding afterwards on Twitter, Cllr Wright said: “They don’t even know what electoral rights EU nationals will have after March, the whole Brexit impact assessment is a lot of negative threat with no facts but their assumption.”
Councillor Dexter Smith (Con, Colnbrook with Poyle) said that if people did not know what they were voting for in the first instance, then they may not know what they are voting for in terms of a final deal.
He said he ‘doesn’t know what planet Keir Starmer [Shadow Brexit Secretary] is on’, referring to his speech at the Labour Party Conference this week where he said ‘nobody is ruling out remain as an option’.
Conservative Group Leader Cllr Wayne Strutton (Haymill and Lynch Hill) questioned why people continue to buy so much real estate in the borough if Brexit is supposedly so detrimental to the economy.
He questioned the accuracy of a recent survey claiming 56.6 per cent of Slough voters would now chose to remain, compared to 45.9 per cent in the 2016 referendum.
Councillor Roger Davis (Lab, Cippenham Green) said he voted leave, not because of the ‘rubbish about the NHS’ but because David Cameron and George Osborne said they would resign if the UK voted leave.
Councillors voted in favour of the motion.
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