Alliance Belfast Councillor Kate Nicholl has called for a People’s Vote on Brexit, as she revealed she will be urging all parties to back a motion on the issue at Monday’s Council meeting.
Following the initial meeting of the Council’s Brexit Committee in August, the motion is part of a larger push by Alliance to address the impact of Brexit on citizens across Northern Ireland. Leading on the issue in Belfast, Councillor Nicholl joins her colleague Councillor Gavin Walker in Ards and North Down, who has tabled a similar motion which has been referred for further discussion at Committee level.
The People’s Vote can allow the electorate of the UK to have a voice in deciding to accept any deal negotiated with the UK or to stay in the EU, or in the event of no deal to decide between leaving and remaining in the EU.
“Brexit is a huge act of self-harm for the UK, with significant damage facing Northern Ireland. Across the UK, there is considerable evidence of people demanding the right to have their say on what now happens. We were sold false promises and fed lies in the referendum and since then, the risks, dangers and implications of Brexit – especially a no deal – have become even clearer. People didn’t vote to wreck the economy or to have a crisis in the health service,” said Councillor Nicholl.
“There is support across the political spectrum for a People’s Vote. It would be a tragedy if the UK was now dragged over the cliff edge if that is not what the electorate wish. People must have their say before any deal is finalised.
“Belfast now has the opportunity to join with many Councils across the UK in passing a resolution in favour of the People’s Vote. This is a campaign that is gaining real momentum.”
Councillor Gavin Walker added: “Given the strong Remain vote in Northern Ireland, and all of the complexities and ambiguities posed to this region by Brexit, it is important local Councils are seen to be taking a stand and representing local people, particularly in the absence of the Assembly.
“In the event of Brexit, Alliance continues to advocate and support a special deal for Northern Ireland. But any special measures will bring their own challenges, and a People’s Vote offers the prospect of a simpler and stronger solution.”