Three more London authorities have declared their official backing for a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal in the last 48 hours.
Both Hounslow and Greenwich have voted to support motions calling for a People’s Vote at their full council meetings. Meanwhile, the elected Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, has written to the Prime Minister on behalf of the Borough to ask for a People’s Vote on any Brexit deal. His move follows recent backing by local councillors in Lewisham for a People’s Vote.
The administrations join a growing list of councils across the capital now calling for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. They include Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
More than thirty councils across the UK are now backing calls for a People’s Vote with another 20 councils scheduled to debate similar motions in the next few weeks.
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said:
“I will be writing to Theresa May urging her to call a People’s Vote on Brexit before it is too late. I also urge my fellow London Borough council leaders, and council leaders across this country to do the same.
“I have no doubt that to protect residents from austerity and the pain and misery of further public service cuts, we must do everything we can to avert Brexit and for that reason Hounslow Council supports a People’s Vote.
“Hounslow voted to Remain in the 2016 referendum and with the national polls swinging behind Remain and a People’s Vote, I am confident this motion is in the best interests of our residents. “
Cllr David Gardner, Deputy Leader of Royal Greenwich, who spoke passionately in support of the motion for a People's Vote said:
"Deal or no deal, it’s becoming clear that the UK is heading for a miserable Brexit which will deeply affect the people of Greenwich: Not only our 23,000 worried EU citizens, but also thousands of businesses and two universities that rely on the single market and customs union, our NHS and public services. Brexit puts our place in the world as a global, outward-looking Borough - and the home of time - at risk.”
“Most Greenwich residents want to have a say on their future, and democracy means we don’t have to accept this mess or settle for this miserable Brexit. We need to decide whether the outcome of this disastrous process to take us out of the EU is what we want, or whether the deal we’ve already got in the EU might be better. I was delighted the People's Vote was supported by both Labour and some Conservative councillors highlighting the broad coalition that - in whatever final shape - our future is in Europe, not as an isolated island in mid-Atlantic."
Greenwich Council is controlled by Labour, and the decision by local councillors to back a People’s Vote will add to pressure on local MPs to support a People’s Vote.
In his letter to Theresa May, the Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan said:
“Despite the government’s assurances, EU citizens living in the UK are still uncertain about their right to remain here after Brexit. It is also clear than any form of Brexit risks damaging the economy and public services, as well as placing further pressure on local authorities that have already seen our budgets significantly reduced since 2010.
“The terms of Brexit were unclear in the 2016 Referendum and negotiations between the Government and European Union have stalled. The only way for this impasse to be resolved is through a referendum.
The increasing number of local councils backing motions calling for a People’s Vote on Brexit, follow last month’s March for the Future, when 700,000 people demonstrated their support for a People’s Vote.
Damien Egan took part in the march and in his letter to the Prime Minister, said: “the message from the march was clear: “Brexit is the greatest challenge facing our country in a generation and people must have their say over its direction. “
Notes to editors
The People’s Vote “Roadmap to a People’s Vote” report can be read here: