It is a year since Article 50 was triggered and a year until we leave the EU. Yet Labour and Conservative councillors chose not to debate the biggest issue facing the country.
Cllr Clare Campion-Smith submitted a motion calling on the Mayor to build wider alliances with our MPs, West of England Mayor and other city regions to better understand the impact on Bristol residents, both here and working in Europe, and to mitigate the negative effects.
Clare commented: ‘I am deeply frustrated that the Brexit debate seems stuck in the Westminster bubble and success is measured by whether the government can hold the Conservative Party together and keep the DUP on board. There is a whole country out here that is being ignored.
‘My motion also called for a referendum on the terms of the final deal. The world has changed since June 2016. Now, President Trump is in office with a protectionist USA trade policy, the malign and subversive influence of President Putin is clear and we are realising the complexity of maintaining peace in Ireland.
“It would be foolhardy not to stop, take stock and allow people the choice within this changed context.
‘I am saddened that my two fellow councillors, Cllr Radford and Cllr Gollop voted to go home rather than debate the impact on Bristol! Soon, it will be too late to get the voice of local government heard. Meanwhile, we are all faced with rising food bills and we see the NHS losing doctors and nurses as a consequence of Theresa May’s choice of the hardest Brexit option. These are the obvious and tangible effects on all our lives – this is why we need meaningful debate locally.’