A poll of Surrey residents demonstrates almost unanimous support for a People's Vote, claims Green MEP Keith Taylor who hosted a Brexit public meeting in Guildford on Tuesday [30 October].
The senior Green politician was the guest speaker at People & Planet's Brexit event at the University of Surrey in Guildford on Tuesday evening. People & Planet is the UK's largest student campaigning organisation campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment.
Residents packed into the lecture hall venue to ask Mr Taylor about his role as an MEP in the Brexit negotiations and raise their concerns about the process. Six of Surrey's districts and boroughs voted to Remain while five voted to Leave in the EU referendum; the region as a whole voted 52.2% to 47.8% for Britain to stay in the European Union. But the event was pitched as an open forum for all, Leave and Remain voters alike.
Mr Taylor said he hoped the meeting would be "a small step towards healing the divides that are still so stark more than two years after an unedifying referendum campaign."
During the meeting, Mr Taylor promised attendees he would send their questions directly to the 11 MPs and Ministers representing Surrey.
Among the questions sent, via Letter, to the Conservative politicians were concerns about EU citizens' rights in the UK and UK citizens' rights in the EU, Britain's international bargaining power outside of the European Union, the likelihood of a 'no deal' recession and the future of vital EU projects like Erasmus.
One resident also asks why politicians are so set on an artificial Article 50 deadline, which could easily be extended, when the prospect of a damaging 'no deal' Brexit looms ever larger.
Keith's letter to Surrey MPs
In his letter, Mr Taylor says he 'looks forward' to hearing the responses from Surrey's MPs to their 'shared constituents' questions' and would also 'gladly make himself available' if the any of them wanted to hold a joint Brexit event in the near future.
At the end of the event, Mr Taylor, who campaigned for a Remain vote and backs a People's Vote, asked attendees to raise their hands in if they were in favour of a vote on the final terms of any Brexit deal. More than 70% of those at the event raised their hands.
After the event, Mr Taylor said:
"I want to thank People & Planet for hosting this event. The aim of it, for me, was to come and listen. Too often politicians are quick to lecture rather than listen to the people they claim to represent. That is why I was insistent the meeting should be open and welcoming to everyone whether they voted Leave or Remain. The turnout was very good and the questions raised were thoughtful and showed the people of Surrey are really engaged with the issue."
"The overall message that I took away was that people are not happy with the way the government's handling of the Brexit negotiations. It is for that reason that I am seeing so many people across Surrey show their support for a People's Vote on the final deal. I urge my fellow Surrey Parliamentarians, and politicians from across the country, to take to the road and listen to their constituents concerns; Brexit will affect families in Britain for generations. The history books will not judge kindly the prioritisation of blind adherence to party political ideology over the concerns of the people of Britain."
"Ultimately, the EU referendum on the 23 of June 2016 was supposed to be the start of a democratic process, not the end of democracy. As David Davis would say, Britain ceases to be a democracy if it can't change its mind. Greens will continue to support a People's Vote with remaining in the EU an option on the ballot."