Calls for People’s Vote shows ‘contempt’ for Eastbourne voters says town’s former MP

Eastbourne's former MP Caroline Ansell campaigning with Boris Johnson in Eastbourne last year
Eastbourne's former MP Caroline Ansell campaigning with Boris Johnson in Eastbourne last year

Calls for a People’s Vote on the terms of Brexit from the Lib Dems shows ‘contempt’ for Eastbourne voters, according to the town’s former Tory MP.

The majority of Eastbourne borough councillors backed a motion stating that while the authority respected the 2016 referendum result it believed the Government should hold a fresh poll on the final terms of the UK leaving the European Union.

Lib Dem Steve Wallis, who proposed the motion last week, said the country ‘needed the opportunity to look at those terms and say “actually, I support that” or “actually, I can’t”.’

But Conservative Caroline Ansell, who was Eastbourne’s MP from 2015 to 2017, said: “In what was really a farce, Lib Dem councillors took it in turn to re-rehearse all the reasons why people in Eastbourne should never have voted to leave in the first place although they did by 57.3 per cent to 42.7 per cent - a quite resounding result. To treat their view with such contempt is astounding.”

“It was all very predictable and, seriously undemocratic: essentially, 16 Liberal Democrats have just spoken on behalf of 70,000+ voters and Eastbourne is now supposedly supporting another referendum, which it isn’t. Furthermore, people I have spoken to or have posted on my Facebook page are seriously angry the council has wasted time on this meaningless exercise.”

She added: “My heart fell during the so-called debate with talk of being ‘a proud European’ as if belonging to the political institutions of the EU delivers that, or if our post-Brexit future wouldn’t still mean working with our fellow European neighbours, partners and friends. That is the politics of division and of opportunism.

“The best line of the night went to Conservative leader Tony Freebody who called for all to rally and to pull together in the national interest - I couldn’t agree more.

“I believe in the United Kingdom and I believe in our future outside the EU. I don’t believe the Lib Dem councillor who concluded in his speech that Europe had made this country what it is.

“We have made this country what it is over centuries of being a proud nation state at the forefront of technical and social advances that has made the world a much better place. We have fought for freedom and we have forged friendships across Europe and the globe. Brexit doesn’t change that.”

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