Cardiff Council blocks Lib Dem debate on People's Vote

Cardiff Liberal Democrats have criticised Cardiff Council’s decision to block a debate on a People’s Vote.

By Cllr Joe Boyle, Leader of the Cardiff Council Liberal Democrats
Sep 24, 2018 11:09

Liberal Democrats at 2018 Anti-Brexit March

The Lib Dems submitted a motion for Thursday’s full Council meeting that, if successful, would have authorised the leader of the Council to write to the UK Government, supporting the case for a final, meaningful and free vote (a “People’s Vote”) on any terms of departure struck with the EU. This would include an option to stay in the EU.

However, the wording the Council's Lord Mayor has allowed removes all mention of a People’s Vote.

The changes to our original motion are unacceptable.

The no-deal Brexit towards which an incompetent Tory government is leading us, will harm Cardiff’s economy, devastate research and innovation and lead to deeper pressures on staffing levels within the health and social care sector.

Debate on the People’s Vote has been rejected on the grounds that Brexit is not the responsibility of the Council.

This is nonsense.

Brexit will have devastating effects on Cardiff’s residents, the very people we were elected to represent, a majority of whom want a second vote. To pretend it is not our responsibility is perverse.

Other councils in the UK have debated the People's Vote. To deny us the right to debate this live issue is undemocratic.

The Tories are making a complete hash of our exit, as this week’s humiliating summit in Salzburg has shown.

The Labour party, lead by arch-Brexiteer Jeremy Corbyn, is ignoring the clear majority of his party. The fudged position agreed by their conference this weekend reveals his true colours.

No wonder they don’t want to debate this matter.

We urge like-minded members of the other political groups on the council to support us in our call for this debate to be allowed. It’s not enough to say you want a People’s Vote. You have to act to make it happen.

 

Original wording of Lib Dem Motion

This Council notes that:
• 60% of Cardiff residents voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, the highest remain vote share in the whole of Wales;
• 61% of Cardiff exports go to EU countries, placing Cardiff in the top five British cities most reliant on EU markets;
• Cardiff has plans for the construction of 40,000 new houses at a time when the the UK construction industry is dependent on EU nationals for 8% of its workforce;
• Since 2014 Cardiff Council has supported 26 foreign direct investment projects by companies from 12 countries, 7 of which were EU Member States, leading to the creation and safeguarding of 3,958 local jobs;
• Work undertaken last year by the Centre for Cities estimated that a ‘soft’ Brexit would reduce Cardiff’s Gross Value Added (GVA) by 1.3%, whilst a ‘hard’ Brexit would reduce GVA by 2.5% and by as much as 2.73% in Cardiff;
• Almost 3,000 students in the city region are from the EU, nearly 4% of the total student population;
• Cardiff Council applied successfully in 2016 for around €1.7m in funding from the Erasmus+ programme for eight projects involving consortia of schools across Wales;
• In 2017, Cardiff Council coordinated Erasmus+ programmes that secured €8.6m for projects across Wales;
• For Cardiff University alone, securing future access to the successor to Horizon 2020 could safeguard research income in excess of £10 million per annum and support world-leading centres such as the Cardiff University Brain Imaging Centre;
• A 2018 Department of Health report says that EEA staff make up 7% (90,000) of the adult social care workforce. That number grew by 32,000 (more than 50%) between 2012-13 and 2016-17;
• EEA workers also account for 15% of dentists, 9.1% of doctors and 5.5% of nurses and midwives. The number of EEA nurses and midwives on the register more than doubled between 2013 and 2017, from 16,798 to 38,024;
• The latest figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) show the number of new nurses coming from the EU to work in the UK has dropped by 87% from 6,382 in 2016/17 to 805 in 2017/18 while the inflow of nurses from non-EU countries has not increased enough to compensate for the drop.
• Elected members must have the chance to influence national policy when that policy is certain to affect the city they represent.

This Council resolves that:
1. The Council explores which obligations the UK Government has to provide Cardiff Council with government departmental information and analysis, even if deemed confidential, about the impact the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union would have on Cardiff’s communities and businesses, as Plymouth City Council is attempting.
2. In light of the anticipated shocks to Cardiff’s economy, education sector and social care sector, among others, the leader of the Council writes to the Secretary of State for Wales and the Prime Minister within the next seven days to support the case for a final, meaningful and free vote (a “People’s Vote”) on any terms of departure struck between the UK Government and the EU. Any such vote should include an option to stay in the EU.

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Wording agreed by Cardiff Council

[As above until the resolutions:]

This Council resolves that

The Council explores which obligations the UK Government has to provide Cardiff Council with government departmental information and analysis, even if deemed confidential, about the impact the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union would have on Cardiff’s communities and businesses.

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