PRO-EUROPEANS in Stratford are vying to campaign for the ‘best possible deal’ for the district from the Brexit negotiations.
Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, former Conservative deputy leader of the district council, Trevor Russel, former Lib Dem district councillor, Susan Juned, and Dave Passingham, of the Green Party have come together to set up a local branch of the European Movement group.
Mr Russel said it would liaise closely not only with supporters who prefer to work within political parties but also those who are in no party.
And he maintained the group would also ally with members of Open Britain, successor to Stronger in Europe – the official Remain organisation during the EU referendum.
Stratford district voted in favour of Britain leaving the EU by 52 per cent to 48 per cent when residents went to the polls on June 23.
Mr Russel told the Observer: “Brexit may mean Brexit, but what does Brexit itself mean in terms of the UK’s future economic, trading and political relationship with the EU and the rest of the world?
“The government is still deciding this, and the voice of those who voted to remain in the EU – 38,000 in Stratford district and 16 million nationwide – must be heard during that debate.
“People voted to leave the EU, but they did not vote for any specific proposals nor to give Brexiteers a blank cheque to negotiate their vision of a post-Brexit UK.
“The European Movement believes it is vital to retain four protections – access to the single market, freedom of movement, environmental protections and workers’ rights. This will be the right deal for the country and for our district.
“Ministers are under pressure from UKIP and other uncompromising hard-liners to go for a so-called ‘hard Brexit’, which would be disastrous for all of us.
“Pro-Europeans must counter these forces and we will be urging our MPs Jeremy Wright and Nadhim Zahawi to support a moderate, sensible approach to our leaving the EU. We welcome anyone who supports the fight back to become members.”
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