A HAMPSHIRE councillor will petition his authority to back calls for a ‘People’s Vote’, as he believes residents should have the final say on plans to leave the European Union

Councillor Gavin James will also call on the county council to publicly demand central government “abandon plans for a hard Brexit”.

The Liberal Democrat member for Eastrop will put forward his case as part of a motion at the Full Council meeting today at The Castle in Winchester. (November 29)

He will then look for the council – which is Conservative-controlled – to back his motion in a vote, which, if successful, may see the motion sent to Westminster.

Listed in the meeting’s agenda, the motion says: “Council notes that it is now more than two years since the Referendum and the Government still has no coherent Brexit plan that has the support of a majority in Parliament.

“Since the vote in 2016: The performance of the UK economy has fallen behind. It is now the slowest growing economy in Europe with productivity slipping further and competitiveness reliant on the declining value of the pound; Hampshire residents – particularly those on lower incomes – are being hit hard by rising inflation and squeezed pay rates; Confidence among investors and established businesses is ebbing with jobs moving away from the UK; Many non-UK EU nationals resident in the county have had their lives, and those of their UK-national families, destabilised by the uncertainty of Brexit. On top of the social impacts, local businesses and, above all the NHS are losing vital staff; And new investment, which Hampshire relies on for future prosperity, is being jeopardised and new job opportunities are being lost.

“Council believes that a ‘hard’ or ‘no deal’ Brexit will seriously harm the long-term prosperity of all Hampshire residents. With only 20 weeks to go before the UK leaves, it is vitally important that Hampshire County Council speaks up on their residents’ behalf.

“Council calls on the government to abandon plans for a hard Brexit and to give the people of Hampshire a vote on the final deal, along with the opportunity to vote on keeping the irreplaceable benefits Britons currently enjoy by staying in the European Union.”

But this comes just a week after Winchester City Council Conservatives prevented a similar motion being put to a vote at its full Council meeting.

This prompted the local Lib Dems to blast the Tories following a 23-22 vote to move on the meeting, rather than vote on the motion.