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Plea for tolerance at Brexit meeting as Remainers deterred

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock has urged constituents to respect each another at his Brexit meeting tomorrow evening amid signs that some are staying away in fear of an angry confrontation.

Passions are running high as the government and parliament seek a way out of the current Brexit impasse before the latest deadline of 12 April. Angry crowds gathered outside parliament last Friday, the day that the UK would have left if parliament been able to agree the terms of withdrawal, which are significantly less favourable than were promised during the referendum campaign. The previous weekend, up to a million people marched through the capital to demand the chance to reject the deal and remain in the EU after MPs from both sides of the argument repeatedly voted it down in parliament.

Mr Woodcock, who has been convinced of the need for a confirmatory public vote on any deal, wants to hear directly from voters ahead of another crunch week in parliament.

He urged people not to be intimidated from having their say at the public meeting tomorrow.

“People understandably feel very strongly on both sides of the Brexit debate but I was dismayed to get messages from some constituents saying they were not going to come to my meeting because they were intimidated by the angry atmosphere surrounding the issue. Things have indeed got a bit heated on social media but I know that Barrovians won’t want anything to do with the kind of aggressive confrontations that were witnessed outside parliament last week, deliberately stoked up by far right groups.

“You are entitled to be angry about the mess the country is in and tell me as your MP to my face what you think I should be doing. Likewise, I am looking forward to putting across why I have reluctantly come round the idea that the only route out of this impasse is giving the public the chance to vote on the Prime Minister’s deal or another variant that can get a majority in the House of Commons.

“I know we can do that in a way that respects everyone in the room and I hope people of all views will not be put off coming along.”

The Brexit forum will be held from 7.30pm tomorrow evening at St George’s church hall, Barrow-in-Furness and will be moderated by the Mail’s Amy Fenton. All are welcome to attend.

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