People’s Vote plea to Sheffield City Region Mayor

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis has been presented with a petition calling on him to switch to giving the public a final say on any Brexit deal.

Thursday, 11th April 2019, 4:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th April 2019, 4:24 pm
Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis, centre, receives the Peoples Vote petition from Mary Seneviratne, chair of Sheffield for Europe.

Campaigners from Sheffield For Europe had a ten-minute impromptu meeting with Mr Jarvis on the pavement outside his office.

They handed over a petition signed by 500 people in around 48 hours urging the Mayor to back a confirmatory public vote on any EU exit deal.

Mr Jarvis, who has dual role as a Labour MP for Barnsley Central, has twice defied his party’s policy to back a public confirmatory vote on any Brexit deal.

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Mary Seneviratne, chair of Sheffield for Europe, said: “It was a constructive meeting and time well spent. It was good that Mr Jarvis came down and spoke to us.

“He listened to the arguments, appreciated the strength of feeling about the People’s Vote in South Yorkshire and that it remains the best option for the region.”

Mr Jarvis did not give an indication that he was going to change his view on putting an EU exit deal, with an option to remain on the ballot paper, to the public.

Mary added: “I’m sad about that but I think we have given him plenty of food for thought and let him know that there is a wider constituency than Barnsley.

“I think MPs should be doing a stronger job to tell people what the problems would be with a no deal and what the problems would be with any exit deal we get.

“Any deal we get will be far inferior to what we have now and MPs should really be telling their constituents that is the case.”

The petition reminds Mr Jarvis: “The EU has brought considerable benefits to your region. There is growing support in the region for a ‘confirmatory referendum’ on a Brexit deal approved by Parliament, as the only legitimate way to solve the crisis that Brexit has caused the country.  

“We, the undersigned, therefore urge you to reconsider and drop your opposition to such a confirmatory referendum.”

Mr Jarvis told the campaigners he was opposed to a no deal exit and was aware of the demands for a public confirmatory vote on any exit deal..

“The petition I think is a strong demonstration of the strength of feeling many people have but as I was explaining I also get representation from lots of other people,” he said.

He had been deluged by emails from people who voted to leave and added: “Many people in South Yorkshire also want to leave without a deal but I couldn’t have been clearer that I think that would be a wrong move for the region and the country.”

Mr Jarvis wanted as Mayor to draw South Yorkshire and the other constituent parts of the Sheffield City Region together so progress could be made.

He said: “Brexit brings very significant challenges and it’s my job to make sure as a city region we are best prepared for whatever is decided nationally by government and in Parliament but it is incredibally useful to have these sort of conversations.

“ I’m really grateful you have taken the time to gather the signatures and bring them to me. It focuses my mind on what you want me to do and I’ll think very carefully about it should there be an opportunity in the next few days or weeks in Parliament.”