Kingston voted unanimously in support of a People’s Vote on Tuesday, joining four other south west London councils supporting the motion.
This was before Theresa May’s Brexit plan was announced yesterday, which led to two Cabinet resignations and continuing speculation on a vote of no confidence.
Kingston joins Richmond, Lambeth, Merton and Hammersmith & Fulham councils in supporting a People’s Vote which would give the public a second vote on the terms of the Brexit deal.
Kingston Council Leader, Liz Green, said: “I along with many other people are worried about the impact of Brexit, and the People’s Vote campaign allows residents to make a final decision about our membership of the European Union (EU), once we know what deal may be available.
“There is insufficient detail available, leaving the council and all partners, businesses and residents struggling to accurately predict the impact, and therefore unable to plan. Our motion, as well as supporting a People’s Vote, also helps us ensure we are assessing the implication of leaving the EU.”
The economic impact of Brexit, misleading claims by the Leave campaign and the negative impact on EU citizens have also been stated by other councils as the motivation for a People’s Vote.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council Leader Stephen Cowan said: “We want our residents from the EU to know that we want them to stay and we appreciate everything they bring to our lives. We will continue to fight for the rights of all Hammersmith & Fulham’s residents.”
Lambeth council has also voiced concern for their 30,000 European citizens, with Council Leader Lib Peck writing a joint letter with 21 other London council leaders to the PM earlier this year urging her to guarantee the rights of EU citizens.
However, critics of a People’s Vote argue that it is undemocratic and undermines the will of the people in the first referendum.
In a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May insisted that she wanted to honour the vote of the British people in the referendum.
She said: “If we do not move forward with that agreement, nobody can know for sure the consequences that will follow.
“It would be to take a path of deep and grave uncertainty when the British people just want us to get on with it.”
But support for a People’s Vote is growing, in a YouGov Survey conducted on the 15 November, 48% of those surveyed supported a People’s Vote versus 34% against.
The survey also showed that 54% would vote for Remain and 46% would vote leave, and in London the difference is even starker, with 57% voting Remain and 43% voting Leave.
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