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Lib Dems urge Lichfield and Burntwood voters to think about impact Brexit will have on future generations

Voters in Lichfield and Burntwood must think about the impact Brexit will have on the future of their children and grandchildren, the Liberal Democrat General Election candidate has said.

Paul Ray (standing) speaking at the hustings event alongside Michael Fabricant and Robert Pass

Paul Ray (standing) speaking at the hustings event alongside Michael Fabricant and Robert Pass

Paul Ray told a hustings event at Wade Street Church that only his party would offer a second referendum on the issue of Brexit.

He said it was important that people looked ahead when casting their vote.

“This is not about another in-out referendum,” he explained. “It’s about the terms of the deal. Do we accept them or do we stay in the European Union if the deal is not right? This is a choice that Labour are not offering.

“We voted out, but what does it mean? What will be the cost of the divorce bill? What will the tariff be on our imports and exports? Who should decide on whether the offer on the table is good enough – the Government or the people?”

Mr Ray added that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit was already having an impact on the UK economy.

“Take Toyota up the road in Derby. That’s 4,000 jobs where 80% of the vehicles they make are exported out of the country. What will happen if exporting is damaged by the deal agreed?

“Jobs are already going abroad. Banks and other multinationals are already moving workers to Germany and other parts of Europe. There are real threats and the referendum is a chance to consider the details and the impact.

“These are decisions that will affect this country for the next 50 years or more – they will define the country our children and grandchildren grow up in.”

The Green Party’s Robert Pass told the hustings audience that the Lib Dems were not the only option for a referendum on the terms of Brexit, insisting his own would also offer that choice.

“I voted to remain,” he said. “But I was not 100% at the start of the process. Even as someone who follows politics it was difficult to follow the arguments.

“The problem is that there were lies on both sides, meaning some people voted based on these. Some went for what they were told on a bus, while others voted because they feared the economy would drop off a cliff the day after the vote.

“Given many people voted based on mistruths, the second referendum is a chance to vote with the facts of the deal on the table in front of them.

“It is also important that 16 and 17-year-olds are given the chance to vote too – something the Greens will offer – as it is their future that is being decided.”

However, Conservative candidate Michael Fabricant said a second referendum would go against the will of the public.

“Democracy has spoken,” he said. “Twenty years or so ago in Wales there was a vote to decide on whether there should be a National Assembly. The result was won by 50.13% – that’s less than the Brexit referendum, but it was over 50% so we went with it.

“People voted to regain independence. I like Europe but that doesn’t mean I like the corrupt European Union. I like football – a bit – but that doesn’t mean I have to like FIFA.

“Brexit is like pregnancy. You either have Brexit or you don’t, just as you are either pregnant or you are not pregnant.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.