Brexit vote off: York prepares for no deal as MP Rachael Maskell quizzes PM

Rachael Maskell in the House of Commons
10 Dec 2018 @ 7.45 pm
| News, Politics

What now? Even as MPs travelled to London for Tuesday’s crucial Brexit vote, Theresa May announced it would be postponed.

The Prime Minister told the House of Commons on Monday afternoon (December 10) that the vote was off – for now – after it became clear her Brexit deal would be voted down over the Irish backstop proposals.

She took questions from MPs, including from the Labour member for York Central Rachael Maskell. She asked:

“In the light of the Prime Minister, and her government, have led these negotiations for 29 months, what are the exact terms the Prime Minister is wanting to negotiate with the EU this week?”

Theresa May replied: “I think I have answered this on several occasions.

“It is in relation to the backstop and ensuring that it is not permanent or indefinite, but it can only be temporary.”

York makes plans

Today City of York Council said preparations were underway to cope with a ‘no-deal’ Brexit in the city.

A report secured by Liberal Democrat councillors will be presented to the executive on December 20, in order to provide an update on Brexit preparations across the city.

Liberal Democrat deputy council leader Cllr Andrew Waller said: “With growing uncertainty mounting in Westminster, it is absolutely vital that as a council, we continue to prepare for all scenarios and help minimise any potential disruption to the city and our local economy.

Prime Minister Theresa May arrives back at 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Yui Mok / PA Wire
“We want to provide as much information as possible to help support residents and businesses across York, and that is why I have secured a further report on our preparations for Brexit on the 20th December.”

Meanwhile Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu is performing a Brexit prayer vigil that started at 6am on Sunday and runs through until midnight tomorrow (December 11).

Youth power

Altogether York cast 109,681 votes in the June 2016 EU Referendum, of which 63,617 were to remain and 45,983 votes to leave.

With York home to more 20 to 24 year olds than both the regional and national average we asked for two student perspectives.

George Coomb, President of the York St John University Students Union, said: “Brexit has been a mess, simple as.

“If anything what we have seen from this car crash has been the power in the student movement – the power in the youth of today.

“Students up and down the country have been calling for a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal and I couldn’t be in greater support.

“Whether you voted remain or leave this deal isn’t what anyone voted on. Too much has been revealed that it has made it clear what we voted on two years ago is not even remotely similar to where we stand currently.

“A People’s Vote gives our country a chance to vote with a fresh outlook on this deal, and I think we can all agree that we’re in need of something new.”

But University of York student Robert Ward disagreed. “The only people calling for a People’s Vote, are those looking to reverse the result and choke the democratic will of the British people,” he said.

“We need a strong leader to go back to Brussels and renegotiate or embrace the opportunities of a managed no deal.

“It is good to see the Conservative led City of York Council planning for that possibility and to take advantage of the opportunities that Brexit will bring for York.”