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Campaigners ask St Edmundsbury Borough Council leader John Griffiths to back 'People’s Vote'




Dozens of campaigners descended on a council meeting to seek support for a ‘People’s Vote’ on the Brexit deal.

During St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s meeting on Tuesday night, leader John Griffiths fielded several questions from councillors and People’s Vote supporters on the issue.

Cllr Julia Wakelam said that while 57 per cent in St Edmundsbury voted to leave the European Union in 2016, a ‘great deal has changed’ as the country now knows the deal the Government has negotiated and what a ‘hard Brexit’ would entail.

People's Vote supporters at West Suffolk House ahead of St Edmundsbury Borough Council's meeting.
People's Vote supporters at West Suffolk House ahead of St Edmundsbury Borough Council's meeting.

Citing a People’s Vote survey which found that 63 per cent of respondents wanted a new vote, she felt it was time for ‘the people to take back control’ in response to the ‘continued delays and uncertainty’.

She asked Cllr Griffiths to consider supporting a People’s Vote - a call which was backed by Cllr Diane Hind.

However, Cllr Robin Pilley said he didn’t think ‘another vote would heal the country’ and the ‘solution has to come from Parliament’.

Dr Ian Chapman, a local GP, asked whether the council had assessed the impact of ending freedom of movement with the EU on businesses and the care sector.

Christina Birt, group lead for Bury St Edmunds Open Britain, said: “As residents find out more about Brexit, they see Brexit as a threat to St Edmundsbury and they want a say on the deal.”

Cllr Griffiths said it was ‘really a matter for our MPs to take things forward’.

He noted that the county council and NHS were looking at the impact on social care and leaders in Suffolk were engaging with businesses.

Responding to Christina, he said: “I don’t think we could force a People’s Vote even if councillors were minded. It isn’t a decision for us.”



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