Calls to stop Brexit and hold People's Vote issued at Leeds MP's debate

Just over a month before Britain is due to leave the EU, Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves hosted a 'People's Vote' debate in Leeds.

Friday, 8th February 2019, 9:25 am
Updated Friday, 8th February 2019, 9:27 am

Speaking at a People’s Vote event in Leeds yesterday evening, she said: “There are still reasons to hope that Labour’s position will move towards a people’s vote.”

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The open discussion brought together people from all sides of the Brexit debate for a frank discussion exploring the “frustrations and failures” which led to the landmark 2016 referendum.

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Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves speaks at a People's Vote panel in Leeds.

When asked how Parliament could implement a people’s vote, the MP said it would happen when alternative routes had failed.

“That’s how we get there, when [we] run out of road and have no other option.”

The debate was just one of a series of events taking place across the country, and hosted by MPs that have supported the People’s Vote campaign, calling on the Government for a public vote on the final Brexit deal for the UK.

Ms Reeves was joined on the panel by Richard Wilson from Leeds for Europe, Andy Evans, owner of Xactium, a small Yorkshire business, Bill Adams from the Yorkshire and Humber TUC and Ellie James, a campaigner for For Our Future’s Sake.

Rachel Reeves MP speaks in Leeds on a second Brexit referendum. The panel from left to right is Richard Wilson, Leeds for Europe, Bill Adams, TUC, Rachel Reeves MP, Ellie James, Four Our Future's Sake and Andy Evans, owner of small business Xactium.

Though the panel and the audience were largely in favour of a second referendum, the topic that caused the most debate was what the question on the ballot paper should be.

A large portion of the crowd loudly disagreed with Mr. Adams who said: “Theresa May’s deal is not going to get through Parliament so it should be no deal or remain.”

Mr Adams was responding to an audience member who said the question should be “Remain or Theresa May’s deal because no government can suggest no deal.

“No deal is to threaten other people with, not the British people.”

Mr Wilson argued that Brexit was a distraction from the issues facing the people of Leeds.

He said: “Brexit is a blockage. We need to stop Brexit, get it out of the way and start solving the issues that matter.

“We have very little power up here in Yorkshire. We can even sort out our own transport.

"We have to go with a begging bowl to London and they say sorry we’ve spent it all.”

Ahead of the debate Ms Reeves told the YEP: “It’s becoming ever clearer that no kind of Brexit can deliver on the promises made in the 2016 campaign.

“Whatever the flavour of Brexit, any plan to leave the EU will cost us money, strip us of our veto and vote, and leave this country in a worse position than it is today.

“A People’s Vote is the only way to resolve the Brexit mess, giving the final say on this country’s course back to the people.”