Harrogate majority against Brexit grows - claim

In the week Nigel Farage and leading Brexiteers are set to come to Harrogate for a major rally, local Remain campaigners are claiming support in town for their case is growing.

Monday, 15th October 2018, 11:01 am
Updated Monday, 15th October 2018, 11:03 am
Harrogate Brexitometer - Part of North Yorkshire for Europe stall at Cambridge Street in Harrogate last Saturday.

Harrogate was one of only three places in Yorkshire in the 2016 referendeum where the majority voted to stay in the EU.The margin in Harrogate was narrow with 48,211 residents voting to remain - 51% - and 46,374 voting to leave - 49% - from a total of 94,653 votes cast.

But the local organiser for North Yorkshire for Europe, a pro-European group set up earlier this year, said opinion polls showed the town had now shifted decisively in favour of remaining in the EU.

Richard Sadler said: "The most recent Best for Britain/ Focaldata survey suggesting Harrogate and Knaresborough has shifted more strongly to Remain from 52.8% to 55.1%. "This is in line with the trend nationally with more than 100 seats switching from Leave to Remain."

Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon members of North Yorkshire for Europe in Harrogate last Saturday.

The new study, which was reported widely in the national press in September, was carried out by data analysis experts Focaldata based on two YouGov polls that together surveyed more than 15,000 people.

The 2016 referendum saw a majority of voters in North Yorkshire back the national decision to leave the European Union.But Richard Sadler said a 'pavement' poll carried out in Cambridge Street in Harrogate town centre last Saturday showed the result might now be different if a second referendum were to be held on EU membership.

He said: "Our "Harrogate Brexitometer" at the weekend suggests there is increasing dissatisfaction with the Government's brexit plans - and serious concerns over the effect they would have on the economy, jobs and Britain's standing in the world."North Yorkshire for Europe supporters are to join a march in London this weekend against Brexit.

NYFE has now laid on second coach for members of the public from Harrogate and Ripon wishing to travel down to take part in the national rally.The event is taking place on the same day a pro-hard Brexit tour led by Nigel Farage MEP comes to Harrogate.

Under the banner 'Leave means Leave', the cross-party 'Save Brexit Rally' is to take place at Harrogate Convention Centre with Kate Hoey MP and Owen Paterson MP joining Nigel Farage arguing the case to have a a clean break from the EU.

Protests were expected to take place outside the venue on Kings Road but NYFE said its supporters would be boycotting the event.Richard Sadler said: "We are ignoring the rally in Harrogate because our focus on Saturday will be Westminster, where we will be giving a clear message to MPs in North Yorkshire and across the UK that we need a People's Vote.

"People know they've been lied to by the likes of Farage and Rees-Mogg who led us to believe leaving the EU would be easy, that we'd all be vetter off and that there'd be more money for the NHS. "We now know none of those things are true - so more and more people are stsrting to distrust anything they say."

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