• Devon County Council votes down backing a people’s vote and a no deal Brexit

    21st February 2019 | News | Claire
  • Devon County Council conservative group today voted down calling on the government to hold a people’s vote as well as urging the government to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

    Very disappointingly, Cllr Martin Shaw’s motion and amendment was only supported by the non-aligned group, the labour group and the libdems this afternoon, with the Tories block voting both proposals down.

    Anthea Simmons accompanied by some of her Devon For Europe team, gave a compelling and passionate speech about Brexit and urged the council to back Cllr Shaw’s proposals.

    Here’s my speech ….

    It’s just as well I didn’t write this speech until late yesterday because these days an hour is a long time in politics!

    So where do we go from here?

    Brexit has fractured party politics. It is breaking down. Possibly it is terminally split, giving the birth of a new party and dividing the two main parties a number of ways.

    So where are we?

    Well, no sensible decisions are even close to being made (and let’s face it the PM is behaving like an automaton stuck on REPEAT even more so than she usually is). I cannot express how bizarre I find her continued trips to Brussels are when she has been told a thousand times the Irish backstop is non-negotiable, as it actually protects the people there from being killed!

    The prospect of Brexit is ALREADY damaging the economy… but the lack of clarity and the prime minister’s total vacuum of leadership is causing businesses to abandon the UK in large numbers:

    Honda, Airbus, Nissan, Flybe, to name just a few are abandoning the UK in search of more stable economies to do business in.

    No sensible decisions are being made and despite the vote on Tuesday evening on attempting to block a no deal Brexit, legally that is the position. So make no mistake THIS COUNTRY IS HEADING FOR A COMPLETELY MAD NO DEAL BREXIT, which will be extraordinarily damaging to the lives of the people of Devon and to the Devon economy for years to come.

    Before anyone starts to chant ‘Project Fear’ I will outline exactly how damaging it could be, according to those in the relevant industries:

    How will it be damaging?

    Firstly, it will be an economic and social catastrophe. A 1930s style depression, with the economy tanking by around 10 per cent overnight.
    Source: Not Jacob Rees Mogg.. but the banking sector

    There will be food shortages, especially if there is panic buying, due to the just in time supply chain. Source: Not Liam Fox, but the supermarket bosses!

    Food price hikes – due to the EU’s external tariffs. Source: That’s just the rules!

    Animal feed shortages, potentially plunging the farming sector into crisis: Source: Not Steve Barclay, but the ports!

    Farm exports. In the event of a no deal, exports will be instantly stopped! Source: Not Boris Johnson! But Farming industry! So any of you who support Devon’s farming community and am assuming many of you do over there, you cannot sit back and allow no deal to happen.

    Democracy did not end in June 2016 and I am endlessly disgusted at the blatant recklessness, actually barking madness, displayed by the government – and the lack of opposition from well, the opposition.

    The only way out of this complete and utter self inflicted shambles is to have another referendum – and to avoid at all costs, a no deal Brexit.

    So I hope that today we can stand up for the people of Devon and urge the government to do so.

    Thank you.