Ex-Sheffield councillor claims calls are growing ‘louder and louder’ for second EU referendum

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An ex-councillor has claimed the calls for a second referendum to be held on leaving the European Union are growing 'louder and louder'.

Former East Ecclesfield ward member Steve Wilson quit the Labour Party earlier this year and joined his wife, Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith, in joining the newly formed 'Change UK - The Independent Group'.

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The party is in favour of the People's Vote campaign for a second referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.

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Theresa May.Theresa May.
Theresa May.

The group has six candidates standing in the forthcoming European elections later this month and they were due to stage a public meeting at The Mowbray in Kelham Island this evening to make their case.

Outside of the meeting, Mr Wilson – one of the six candidates – said: “The call for a confirmatory people’s vote is getting louder and louder. Already there is a sizeable and growing proportion of Labour MPs calling for such a vote.

“We now have Tories, such as Lord Pickles saying such a vote might be a way out of the stalemate in Parliament and growing numbers of the electorate are demanding a second vote.

“We also hear the Prime Minister has been gaming second referendum scenarios. While it is difficult to calculate if there will be another public vote. It is clear it is probably the only way out of the present impasse.”

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Steve Wilson.Steve Wilson.
Steve Wilson.

There are six Members of European Parliament that represent Yorkshire and the Humber and there are nine different political parties fielding candidates to contest the seats.

The UK, however, is only taking part in the elections because of the Government's failure to deliver Brexit.

There has been questions raised about how important they are as it is likely successful candidates will only have a short stay in the European Parliament.

Residents listen in at the event this evening.Residents listen in at the event this evening.
Residents listen in at the event this evening.

The new parliamentary session begins in Europe on July 2.

But the Government is understood to be targeting leaving the EU by August 1 – meaning successful candidates would only be in their seats on the continent for about a month.

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The UK has a deadline of October 31 to leave the EU when it is expected the UK's 73 seats will be handed over to other countries that are either under-represented in the Parliament, or will be reserved for countries hoping to join the EU.

Addressing these concerns, Mr Wilson said: “Only the other day the Prime Minister more or less stated successful candidates will take up their seats in the European Parliament on July 2 when she said her aim now is for a deal to be concluded by August 1.

“Given this will be the fifth date the Prime Minster has given for the UK leaving the EU, and the growing possibility of a confirmatory vote, it is probably more likely now our 73 MEPS will sit for some time in the European Parliament.”

The result of the European elections are due on Sunday, May 26, sometime after 10pm.

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