'Civilised' debate on Brexit in Harrogate hailed a success

Organisers of what is believed to be the only full debate on Brexit in Harrogate since the EU referendum of 2016 say the event was a great success.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 1:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 2:09 pm
Brexit debate in Harrogate - Andy Brown, the Green Partys prospective parliamentary candidate for Skipton & Ripon at the lectern at Wesley Centre in Harrogate.

The debate, organised by North Yorkshire for Europe, include local politicians from all the major parties.

Held at the Wesley Centre last Friday, NY for Europe's chair Richard Sadler, said the event had shown it was possible to hold a sensible discussion on the issue.

He said: "We are delighted that this event attracted so much interest. It was a great evening of debate with speakers from across the political spectrum. "Speakers and members of the public passionately defended their point of view in a civil but forceful way."The panelists made some excellent speeches about the best way forward - with the majority clearly in favour of a People's vote - but the some of the most powerful contributions were from members of the audience."

Chaired by Professor John Adams MBE, the speakers at last week's debate included John Watson OBE, the former Conservatove MP for Skipton and Ripon; Judith Rogerson, the Liberal Democrats’ prospective parliamentary candidate for Harrogate & Knaresborough; Linda McAvan, Labour MEP for Yorkshire & the Humber; Andy Brown, the Green Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Skipton & Ripon, and Ian Greenberg, UKIP’s Yorkshire regional secretary.

The attendance of 170 meant a total of £527.61 was raised from tickets fees and donations, after expenses were deducted, which will be donated to Harrogate Homeless Project.

Richard Sadler said: "There was a very strong feeling, both from speakers and from from members of the public, that the Prime Minister is taking us in the wrong direction and that it's time for the public to be consulted over what sort of Brexit they want - or whether they really want Brexit at all."

Volunteers from NY for Europe also held a day of action last Saturday in Harrogate and Ripon handing out leaflets and testing the political temperature with a 'Brexitometer' recording people’s views on the Government’s approach on Brexit.

North Yorkshire for Europe was formed in April 2018 to campaign for a People’s Vote on the Government’s Brexit deal.It is part of a network of 170 pro-EU groups nationwide.