Local Conservatives for a People's Vote

Cllr. Tracy Moore TWBC Portfolio Holder for Economic Development comes out in support of a People's Vote.

My position on a “People’s Vote”. I’d first like to point out the obvious – that the first referendum, in 2016, was also a people’s vote.

I recognise, though, that what is being asked for now is a referendum on the actual deal, rather than a range of Project Fear to best-case-scenarios and even downright lies. As the chair of TW-IN wrote to all local councillors — a “people’s vote would ensure a meaningful decision is made based on the reality of the deal the UK has to leave the European Union with in 2019”. It is difficult to argue with that.

I am nothing if not principled. I believe in local government. I believe in localism, in civic leadership, and I believe that politics today is too tribal, and political debate too toxic. The nation remains as divided as ever since the referendum of 2016.

And because consistency is important to me I must make clear that I still believe that referenda undermine representative democracy. Although they promise direct democracy, they are ill-suited to complex issues and can be affected by everything from emotion to the weather.

But here we are – in my opinion, in this situation of possibly the greatest act of national self-harm, where politicians of every stripe try to score political points, rather than acting in the national self-interest.

A situation where many try to square a circle and repair a situation that maybe really never should have been. A situation where our MPs are in stalemate and different definitions of Brexit compete for support, with no clear winner.

Perhaps the only way to solve the insolvable may be to ask the people again - now that you know what “leaving” looks like, and the real consequences, is this what you want?

Parliament can’t seem to find a consensus. And the reality is that as a nation we do find ourselves in this terrible situation. So in my opinion, perhaps a People’s Vote is the least worst option.

Seb St John