Here’s why I signed the petition calling for a People’s Vote

| September 21, 2018 | Reply

Unusually, this post will change as time runs out on the run up to Brexit. So feel free to bookmark the page on the People’s Vote, visit often, and let me know what you think.


In June 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU by a small margin. Here in Northern Ireland, we voted to remain within the EU by a sizable margin (56%). In Ards and North Down the vote was split with North Down voting to remain and Ards voting to leave!

So it’s been an interesting time for us all and both sides have been battling with the realities of what ‘Brexit means Brexit’ does actually mean!

But regardless of your position, the one thing we can all agree on is that the government at Westminster has not covered itself in glory. In fact, I would go as far as to say that they’ve made such a mess of ‘negotiations’ that they have lost the trust of the people and therefore the right to make the final decision on whether or not we accept the outcome of the negotiations when they are announced….sometime!

MPs have lost the trust of the people and therefore the right to make the final decision on whether or not we accept the outcome of the negotiations when they are announced.

More than that, I would suggest that the accepted balance in political decision-making has now tipped to a stage that we simply can not trust that our MPs are in any position to make a rational decision. By that I mean we all accept that political decisions are based on 95% what is the best for the country/constituents and 5% how will this decision affect my/my party’s chances of re-election.

But with the Conservative party ripping itself apart and Labour gaining traction in the polls, this balance has now switched and all thoughts in Government are to how they can ensure not only the electoral success of the Conservative Party, but indeed the continued existence of the Party.

Meanwhile, as recently as this week, the EU has shown itself to be resolute in its stance against compromising its Four Principles, and in doing so, leaving the Prime Minister’s Chequers Plan – which probably didn’t have the support of Parliament anyway – in tatters.

So where do we go from here?

The Government has already admitted that they are putting contingency plans in place for stockpiling food and drugs in the growing likelihood of a Crash Out Brexit which will result in some level of chaos in our supply chains.

That should be worrying enough, but for those of us who live in Northern Ireland, the concern should be even higher with the potential of a hard border being in place. Again regardless of how you voted in June 2016, I would guess you didn’t vote for economic disaster and the challenge to the Good Friday Agreement that a Crash Out Brexit would mean.

On the other hand, of course, it is possible that the Government will actually pull the rabbit out of the hat and be able to boast a brilliant deal with guarantees as to how the future might look.

Deal or no deal – we should still decide if it’s the Right Deal

But either way, we come back to the issue of who decides what is the Right Deal for us?


So when I signed the Petition calling for a People Vote, it wasn’t because I wanted a re-run of the Referendum. To be honest, I spent the first 15 months of the period of negotiation waiting for the breakthrough that would guarantee us a good Brexit.

No, it was because I – like hundreds of thousands of other UK citizens – gradually opened my eyes to the fact that the Government was making a horlicks of the negotiations, I couldn’t trust their decision making, and therefore, I want us to be able to make the decision for ourselves. It will affect our country for generations to come, and it’s too important to be left to the politicians to decide.

If you would like to add your voice to the over 300,000 people already calling for a People’s Vote, then join us now, here – TODAY!

What can Ards & North Down Council do to help?

I am bringing this Notice of Motion to the Council’s Corporate Committee on Tuesday 9th October

That this Council acknowledges the result of the EU Referendum of June 2016,  but asserts that no one in Ards and North Down Borough voted for a bad deal or no deal that could wreck our economy and jeopardise our peace process. We therefore write to the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister expressing our support for the growing demand for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.

If that’s something you feel you would like the Council to support, please email your Councillors and tell them. You’ll find their email addresses & contact details here


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