The Labour party in Hartlepool vowed it will not support a second referendum on Brexit.
Hartlepool Constituency Labour Party (CLP) voted against such a vote on the UK’s membership of the European Union and has formally advised Hartlepool’s MP Mike Hill to vote against any legislation that would trigger it.
A motion that was passed at the party’s AGM on Saturday says 69.6% of Hartlepool voters supported leave in the 2016 national referendum, and that Mr Hill was elected on a manifesto stating Labour’s commitment to honour the referendum result. It added polls demonstrate ‘little to no change’ in public opinion over Brexit within Hartlepool.
A Hartlepool Mail poll saw 3,741 votes cast and found that 55% of the readers who responded favour leaving even if a deal cannot be reached. Hartlepool saw one of the biggest Out’ votes nationwide, with 32,071 people voting Leave and 14,029 Remain – a resounding 69.6% against 30.4%.
A Labour party spokesperson said: “Holding a second referendum before the outcome of the first has even been implemented flies in the face of basic democracy.
“The people of Hartlepool overwhelmingly voted to leave the EU and that must be respected.
“That said, a Tory ‘no deal’‟ Brexit would be a disaster for our town and we have already started to see that in the uncertainty around key North East employers like the car industry.
“What we need is a General Election so the Labour Party can negotiate a deal that protects our jobs and economy, instead of the shambles that the Conservative Party has overseen.”
Last week, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the party would back a public vote to prevent a ‘damaging’ Tory Brexit or no deal. But Hartlepool CLP says it believes that any shift in policy away from leaving the European Union as outlined in Labour’s manifesto clears the way for a Conservative no deal Brexit putting industries, jobs and businesses at risk.
The motion stated: “Labour must always protect jobs and our economy; we believe we can do this whilst still honouring the referendum result.”
The CLP also supported formally advising Mr Hill to vote to ensure that Britain does not leave the EU without a deal. Mr Hill told the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme:
“The thoughts of my constituents are a million miles away in my opinion from a second referendum, people’s vote, call it what you will. “I’ve got to understand and support that opinion and that remains my position to this day.”
Earlier this week Emma Lewell-Buck MP stated:
“A second referendum will not heal the Brexit divisions!”