Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats have collected hundreds of signatures from residents over Britain’s exit from the EU.
The petition urges the city’s three MPs to vote against triggering Article 50 if the government does not agree to a referendum on ‘the destination of Brexit’.
It said: “A narrow Leave vote does not give Theresa May a blank cheque to take away the UK’s membership of the single market and our rights to live, work, and travel freely in Europe.”
The three Lib Dem parliamentary candidates for the city told MPs: “We believe that the people should be given a chance to approve the results based on actual terms rather than the predictions and promises that were all that was available in June 2016. We see this as the clearest way to respect the views of the electorate, whether they voted to leave or remain.”
Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown said he would vote with the government on Brexit. But Hove’s Labour MP Peter Kyle, and the Green Party’s MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas were set to vote against Brexit.
Mr Kyle made his intentions clear by emblazoning his stance on the windows of his office in Church Road. He set out three ‘Brexit’ tests which he would have to be satisfied with to vote with the government.
Responding to the Liberal Democrats’ petition, Ms Lucas said: “I will not be capitulating to the Tories over Brexit – and welcome action by local Liberal Democrats to help protect people from an extreme Brexit. Brighton and Hove deserves better than this and so does Britain, and co-operation across political divides to get the best deal for Britain is the right and principled thing to do.
“That’s why I’ve been working cross party here in Brighton and Hove, and in Parliament, with others who want to protect our environment, safeguard the rights of EU nationals living in Britain and defend workers’ rights. I will not support a government threatening to turn this country into a tax haven and planning to throw us off the Brexit cliff edge, and it’s absolutely right that we are offered a ratification referendum on the terms of any deal. I’ve argued this from the outset and tabled amendments to the Bill seeking to trigger article 50 on this subject.
“This is about people being given a voice so it’s great that local people are being offered the chance to have their say on the need for a further referendum and I am more than happy to sign the Lib Dem petition.”
Carrie Hynds, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hove, said: “I welcome Caroline Lucas’s public declaration that she will vote against triggering Article 50, and hope that Simon Kirby will follow suit. The government has no mandate for hard Brexit: leaving the single market was not on the ballot paper, and Parliamentary sovereignty means that the decision whether or not to proceed rests solely with our MPs. I urge them to take the 68.5 per cent Remain vote in Brighton and Hove into consideration, as well as the peace and prosperity of my home country of Northern Ireland.”
The Lib Dems said the petition was acknowledged by Peter Kyle’s office but so far no response has been heard from Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Kemptown.