‘There is no good solution’: Barking Brexit discussion hears from leavers and remainers

Social policy worker Iram Ali, Box Up Crime's Stephen Addison, Barking MP Margaret Hodge and People'

Social policy worker Iram Ali, Box Up Crime's Stephen Addison, Barking MP Margaret Hodge and People's Vote campaigner David Wilson on the panel for the Brexit discussion. Picture: Sophie Morton - Credit: Archant

The impact of Brexit and the morals of holding a second referendum were among the topics discussed at a people’s voice event in Barking.

The discussion, at Barking Learning Centre, featured panellists outlining their position on Brexit before opening the conversation to the floor.

The hour-long meeting heard from both leavers and remainers, with a diverse audience including one man who was too young to vote three years ago and another who was eligible to have his say in 1975, when Britain voted to become a member of the European Communities - later incorporated into the European Union.

Among the issues discussed during Monday's meeting was whether a people's vote or a second referendum would be democratic or whether the 2016 decision to vote leave should be respected no matter what.

One man said that a second referendum should be deal or no deal and not have remain on the table, while a woman pointed out that "a decision made on lies isn't a democratic one".

"My feeling is that the people's vote campaign is entitled," said another of the meeting's attendees.

"The general view from my circle is that they assume we're going to vote remain."

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But there were concerns a second referendum would lead to a rise in hate crime and hostility.

"If we remain there's going to be more divisions," one woman said. "A second referendum is just going to have the same problems again.

"There is no good solution to the mess that we are in right now."

Barking MP Margaret Hodge, who said that she would respect the outcome of a people's vote, said: "Democracy isn't once in a lifetime. It would be like voting for me in 1994 and not since."

Concerns were raised for the impact Brexit would have on future generations, with one woman suggesting a 50 year plan was necessary.

"What will happen to our 18 year olds, our 12 year olds?" she asked.

Another said: "My concern is for my daughters. "I've already lived my life."

The environmental impact of Brexit and international trade deals was also discussed, with one man - who said he also voted against EU membership back in 1975 - claiming that lorries driving around Europe meant "we're going to do in the planet".