Labour Group on Hounslow Council Back People's Vote

Motion to be put to the Council calling for a second referendum

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Hounslow Council’s Labour Group has passed a motion in favour of a ‘People’s Vote’ on Brexit.

The move comes just ahead of the Labour party conference where the local Labour group plan to add to the pressure on the party leader Jeremy Corbyn to support the move. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and over 100 Constituency Labour Parties will be making the same case.

The passing of the motion proposed by Labour Group Chair Cllr Salman Shaheen by the 50-strong ruling Labour Group in a Council made up of sixty councillors means that it is almost certain to be passed by Hounslow Council at its meeting next month. They will then join neighbouring Richmond upon Thames Council in formally supporting the People’s Vote campaign. The Council would then write to both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn urging them to support a referendum on the final Brexit deal or no deal.

Cllr Shaheen said, “The Labour conference commences in Liverpool this week and already we know that the defining issue will be Brexit. Over 100 CLPs, including my own, Brentford & Isleworth, have submitted motions to conference calling for a People’s Vote. And with almost 80% of Labour members supporting a People’s Vote, I believe it is highly likely that conference will back a referendum on the final deal.

“That’s because Brexit will be a disaster for the working-class people our party was founded to represent. They are the ones whose rights will be ripped up by any deal the government negotiates and they deserve a say on that. Hounslow Council has already had to make heartbreaking decisions to cope with central government slashing our budget. No more. We cannot afford the devastation that further cuts brought about by a Conservative Brexit will bring to our communities.

“Jeremy Corbyn has always been on the right side of history and at conference he has a chance to show it again. As the true consequences of Tory Brexit become clear, I hope he will see the wisdom in giving the people a chance to turn away from the cliff the government is walking us towards."

The Conservative opposition on the Council plan to oppose the motion. They say that the understand the fears both of those who would like a second referendum but doubt that anything could be achieved by it and they believe the timescale is now too short to make the necessary arrangements.

Their principle objection is that they believe even discussing it is likely to make the EU more intransigent in negotiations and that will lead to a worse deal for the UK. It would give the EU an incentive to offer a deal which would inevitably be rejected if put to a public vote. In addition they claim that should the public vote on remaining in the EU the terms of the UK’s readmission may be less attractive than originally with the annual rebate lost and a requirement made to join the Euro.

In a statement the local party said, "Hounslow’s Conservative Councillors are baffled as to why the Labour group have given notice that they intend to bring forward a motion at the next Borough Council meeting expressing support for ‘a People’s Vote’. We believe that councillors should be attending to the many pressing local issues facing us instead of pretending that passing a motion at Borough Council will have any impact on Government policy. As Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornborough recently so succinctly put it, the suggestion of a second referendum is 'for the birds'."

The motion passed by Hounslow Council’s ruling Labour Group reads:

This Council:

1) Wishes to formally add its voice to those calling for a public ‘People’s Vote’ on the final Brexit deal or lack thereof.
2) Agrees to liaise with the official ‘People’s Vote’ campaign on ways in which it can help promote its petition.
3) Resolves to write to Prime Minister Theresa May urging her to call a People’s Vote, and to write to Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn urging him to support a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.

September 24, 2018

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