WINCHESTER Liberal Democrats have slammed the blocking of a vote on a motion to support the Government’s final Brexit deal.

City council Conservatives prevented the motion by former mayor Cllr Jane Rutter being put to a vote at the full council meting in the Guildhall.

The motion stated: “There is no version of Brexit that makes economic or political sense. In every case we will be worse off economically, and in a worse position internationally; local businesses and jobs will be hit just as hard as everywhere else in the country. The life opportunities of our young people will be reduced, and the impact on families of EU citizens is dire.

“We owe it to our local residents to call for a People’s Vote, so that we can all make a final, properly informed, decision on this issue which will impact the UK for generations to come.”

But no Conservatives took part in the ensuing debate, leaving only Lib Dem councillors to speak including Kelsie Learney, Lynda Murphy and Lucille Thompson.

Tory Cllr Vicky Weston then made a short speech, before moving a procedural motion to ‘proceed to next business’.

In a recorded vote, the council voted by 23 votes, all Conservative, to 22, the Lib Dems, to back this instead of voting on the motion.

Cllr Lucille Thompson, leader of the Lib Dem group, speaking before the events of last week, said: “As things stand, Brexit is going to have a seriously damaging effect on what the council is trying to achieve. By running away from the issue and failing to prepare for its impact – or even to think about how to support local people and local businesses when and if Brexit comes – the Conservatives are badly failing the local area.”