Hackney council has added its voice to campaigners urging Prime Minister Theresa May to take a ‘no deal’ Brexit off the table.
The council passed a motion rejecting ‘no deal’ at its full council meeting this week, proposed by councillor and Cabinet Member for Planning, Business and Investment Guy Nicholson. It also called for Article 50 to be extended to avoid the UK crashing out of the EU with ‘no deal’.
Councillors expressed their concern that because no party at Westminster has an overall majority parliament was being forced into choosing between a ‘bad deal’ or a ‘no deal Brexit’ by the Prime Minister.
The borough had the second highest Remain vote in the UK, with almost 80% of voters opting to stay in the EU.
Hackney Council said it firmly rejected a ‘no deal’ Brexit’. Hackney was a diverse and inclusive part of the capital, it said, which “has been enriched culturally, economically and socially by migrants who have made Hackney their home”.
The motion stressed the security and prosperity of Hackney residents and businesses was paramount. “The Council supports this action as a first credible step in achieving the call for a General Election or ensuring enough time is given for all options, including campaigning for a public or ‘people’s vote’, with a clear option to remain in the EU, on the table,” it continued.
Nicholson stressed the council has been planning ahead in an effort to guarantee service continuity and support for employees, residents, and businesses regardless of the outcome of Brexit.
This included creating the ‘Hackney Loves You’ campaign to recognise the contribution of EU citizens from other member states to Hackney. The campaign also provided advice to council employees who are EU citizens from other member states on citizenship rights and the application procedures required to remain in the UK post-March 2019. The council had offered to cover the cost of applying for settled status for council employees which has now been waived by the government.