The Wokingham Paper

Wokingham votes to stay in EU in shoppers’ Brexit poll

A team from Berkshire in Europe were in Wokingham town centre to canvass opinions on Brexit

IF WOKINGHAM residents were voting in tomorrow’s crunch vote on Brexit, it would be pushing to stay in the European Union.

A team from Berkshire In Europe asked shoppers in Wokingham’s town centre on Saturday, January 14 for their views.

The shoppers were first asked a series of questions about who said what on various Brexit issues such as a free trade agreement with the EU “should be one of the easiest in human history”.

A second series of questions asked about the vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

No one who took part felt that Theresa May’s deal allowed the UK to take back control: the vast majority felt it didn’t and a smattering said they didn’t know.

The same verdict was given to a second question asking if people felt that Theresa May’s deal was better than the current deal with the EU.

The third question was whether there should be a People’s Vote – a referendum on the final Brexit position. Although there were a handful of people who felt that there shouldn’t, and one don’t know, the overwhelming majority said that there should be another national poll.

The final question asked people if they would vote for May’s deal or stay in the EU – there was no option to leave with a no deal. Only two people felt they would vote for May’s deal.

Vanessa Rogers, who helped organised the event, said that the poll shows “how a cross section of Wokingham constituents feel about the current situation we have regarding how our government are doing with Brexit”.

She added: “People were actually queuing to put their stickers in the boxes.

“We did not influence them at all – just asked them to show us their views. We only engaged with them if they wanted us to and many did.”

People queue up to have their say on the Brexitometer

Ms Rogers felt that opinions had changed over the past two years.

Back then, she said: “People just said, even if they had voted Remain, that the vote had happened, and they just wanted the government to ‘get on with it’.  People were dismissive and campaigners were made to feel like cranks. It was really depressing.

“However, opinions have changed hugely – we are welcomed on the street, thanked even for the work we are doing.  It is rewarding and uplifting.”

She added that while some respondents had been rude, the majority of people who voted leave gave “a friendly bit of banter with a friendly leaver”.

“On the whole, things have almost turned 360 degrees,” she said. “Sir John Redwood should take heed.”

Last week in the House of Commons, Sir John said: “The public voted very clearly in the people’s vote of 2016. They were told by Parliament and the Government, by the remain and leave campaigns, that they—the people—were making the decision.

“They were promised that this Parliament would get on with the task, and they now say to this Parliament, Do just that. Get on with it’.”

He added: “There are many leave voters now who are extremely angry that some Members in this House think they were stupid, think they got their decision wrong, and think they should have to do it again.

“Many people in the country who voted remain, as well as many who voted leave, think it is high time that this Parliament moved on from every day re-enacting the referendum debate as if it had not happened and thinking that we can go back over the referendum debate and decision because it did not like the answer.”

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