Haringey Lib Dems call emergency council meeting on Brexit and a People’s Vote


It is decision time on Brexit for Haringey Labour. The party has so far avoided taking a stance on whether there should be a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal despite Haringey having the 5th highest remain vote in the country.

On 31st August Haringey Lib Dem leader, Cllr Liz Morris, wrote an open letter to Cllr Joseph Ejiofor, Labour Leader of Haringey Council, urging him to publicly support a referendum on the final Brexit deal and to make representations to Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn to back the People’s Vote. Cllr Morris pointed out that Haringey’s two Labour MP’s supported the People’s Vote and his counterpart in Camden Council has come out in support.

In his reply, Cllr Ejiofor was unwilling to give his public support for the People’s Vote, suggesting instead that a “collective decision” was made at the next Full Council meeting in late November. As this date would occur after the target deadline for concluding a withdrawal agreement in October, the Liberal Democrats have invoked a rarely used power allowing backbench councillors to call a meeting of all councillors to debate an urgent issue.

Cllr Liz Morris, comments:

“Haringey’s Labour group has to choose between their shambolic and weak national party line on Brexit or the interests of the residents and businesses in Haringey who they are supposed to represent. We know the economic impact on this borough and the rest of the country will be devastating. Let’s hope Haringey Labour put Haringey first and join the growing support for a People’s Vote.”

Cllr Nick da Costa (Lib Dem – Alexandra ward), who is due to second the motion at the extraordinary council, also commented:

“As long as Jeremy Corbyn continues to whip his MPs against a People’s Vote, he’s an impassable block to the public having the final say on Brexit. Haringey was his first political homeland and it borders his constituency. Nowhere is better placed to send him the message that he needs to stop enabling a Tory Brexit.”

Since writing to Cllr Ejiofor the GLA have backed a motion supporting the People’s Vote and London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan has finally come out in support.

The Lib Dem motion in full (unamended at the time of publication) is as follows:

Motion A: Brexit and a People’s Vote

Proposer: Cllr Morris

Seconder: Cllr da Costa

Council notes:

  1. The invocation of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union on March 29 2017 with the result that the UK is due to leave the European Union on March 29 2019
  2. That at the time of submission, no agreement has been reached on a post-exit relationship between the UK and the EU
  3. That the Greater London Assembly along with the London Boroughs of Merton, Richmond and Hammersmith & Fulham have all passed motions endorsing a People’s Vote

Council further notes:

  1. The likely negative economic and fiscal impacts of Brexit
      1. The Government’s internal analysis of Brexit concluded that output would be hurt under every scenario modelled and could reduce the UK’s economic output by 8%.
      2. The Centre for European Reform estimates that as of June 2018, the UK’s public finances were £23 billion a year (or £440 million a week) worse off than they would have been without the possibility of Brexit
  2. The likely negative impact of Brexit on public sector recruitment. For example, the Nuffield Trust estimates that an interruption to migration from the EU could lead to a shortfall of as many as 70,000 social care workers by 2025/26
  3. That an estimated 54,000 Haringey residents are nationals of another EU member state. This represents almost a fifth of the borough’s population
  4. That Haringey voted 75.6% to 24.4% to remain in the 2016 referendum. The fifth highest in the country
  5. That a People’s Vote has now been endorsed by:
      1. The Members of Parliament for Hornsey & Wood Green and Tottenham
      2. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London
      3. Francis O’Grady, President of the Trade Union Congress
      4. The Royal College of Nursing, Prospect, the GMB, Community, the TSSA and the British Medical Association
      5. The leaders of the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party
      6. The National Union of Students
      7. Over 300,000 individuals who have signed the petition for a People’s Vote

Council believes:

  1. That the post-Brexit arrangements currently being put forward would leave the UK worse off than if it remained an EU member state
  2. That as a result, they would harm the welfare of Haringey residents and the population of the UK as a whole
  3. That the loss of the benefits of UK membership of the EU will adversely affect the Council’s ability to provide services to the residents of Haringey
  4. That the Brexit vote has created justified anxiety amongst citizens of the EU27 countries residing in Haringey, and throughout the UK; and that the government has not taken sufficient steps to reassure them

Council believes in light of this:

  1. That the final say on Britain’s future relationship with the EU should be made by the people not politicians

Council resolves:

  1. To support the call for a People’s Vote on any final Brexit deal with an option to remain in the EU; and therefore
  2. Ask the leader of the Council to contact the People’s Vote campaign to communicate Council’s support
  3. That in order to exert pressure for a desirable outcome in parliament, it will ask the leader of the Council to write to the leader of every party represented in the House of Commons, asking them to support a People’s Vote or, where appropriate, thanking them for already doing so
  4. That the leader should write to other London boroughs requesting that given the importance and imminence of Brexit they debate the People’s Vote soon, if they have not already done so
  5. To fly the Flag of Europe on civic buildings regularly between now and March 29th 2019 to signal solidarity with EU27 citizens living in Haringey
  6. To ask the leader to write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government making a request under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 for all governmental departmental information and analysis pertaining to the impacts upon Haringey’s communities and businesses of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU
  7. To ask the Cabinet to publish a report on contingencies in the event of Britain leaving the EU


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