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Councillors clash over motion calling for vote on Brexit deal

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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  • Skippy

    12:12, 01 October 2018

    I'm glad councillors are pointing out things are definitely not going to be all roses with Brexit. The Pound has taken a hammering since the referendum making practically everything more expensive for Joe Public. And ripping up over 40 years worth of EU trade deals with our closest and biggest trading partners is not going to do the economy and our livelihoods any good whatsoever. Perhaps some Brexiters will only see the light if they lose their jobs or wonder why the cost of living is spiralling up. We are woefully unprepared for a hard Brexit in terms of new customs facilities and negotiators to strike new worldwide trade deals - which take many years to agree. I just hope politicians can limit the damage with an interim EU trade deal, which will inevitably be inferior to what we have now.

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  • Stranger

    03:03, 30 September 2018

    This sort of pompous public grandstanding on national political issues is not what we expect our councillors to do. We didn't give them a platform to be abused by wasting time on nonsense that has nothing to do with their responsibilities. We expect them to support local communities and local businesses, instead of running down both (as they have done) and lining their own pockets with backhanders from Morgan Sindall. This is a failed council, and I hope the public wakes up to the real-life consequences of socialism in this town, which affects them negatively in every sphere while simultaneously undermining every single hard-won opportunity, public benefit (e.g. NHS and education and transport) that once existed here. Stop voting Labour now or when other people's money runs out and they come for yours. Your choice.

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  • Honestjim

    00:12, 29 September 2018

    I find it amusing that this labour council has an issue now with Brexit and feels that everyone voting for leaving has ‘little islander mentality ‘. However a few months ago when given the chance to adopt the same voting process as the rest of Europe, ie photo ID, votes against it with very much that little islander mentality. A system perfectly acceptable for the whole of EU is not good enough for this suddenly pro EU council. Why the change and why the sudden difference in views throughout the entire Labour Party.

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