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Brexit debate beaten by the clock

Meeting ends without 'people's vote' motion being heard

12 October, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Liberal Democrats outside the Town Hall on Monday

COUNCILLORS ran out of time to debate Brexit at Monday’s full council meeting, sparing them from a vote on whether they support a new national referendum on Europe.

The time-out followed a pre-meeting row over whether Town Hall motions should cover what the Conservatives described as “foreign policy” or stick to more parochial issues.

Liberal Democrats and Labour had put up motions in support of the “People’s vote”, a second national vote on the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union next year. The parties had been split on how a council resolution should be worded, with the Lib Dems urging Labour to drop its call for a general election as a possible alternative to a fresh referendum.

Many Labour councillors were encouraged by Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer’s rallying conference speech with its claim that nobody was ruling out remaining in Europe as a possible option on a new ballot paper, although some are understood to be concerned about the party’s national leadership being undermined on this front.

Council leader Georgia Gould makes her way in

Although countdown screens have been installed in the new council chamber at Crowndale Centre, councillors had not reached the motions section by 10pm on Monday, leading to claims of filibustering and an unwillingness to debate.

Before the meeting, Lib Dems had urged councillors to join their campaign, hoisting EU flags at the door. Labour leader Georgia Gould, former leader Nash Ali and Green Party councillor Siân Berry accepted the offer to wave the blue and yellow flag.

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