If the Brexit referendum were held today how would Northampton vote? Take part in our poll

Two-and-a-half years ago, nearly 60 per cent of voters in Northampton called for the UK to split with the European Union. But if we had to vote today, which way would it go?

Tuesday, 27th November 2018, 3:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 5:18 pm
If the referendum were held today, how would you vote?
If the referendum were held today, how would you vote?

After months of negotiation, the UK and EU have finally agreed a Brexit deal.

But the 585-page, legally binding, divorce document has not been to everyone's liking.

Earlier today, MP for Northampton South Andrew Lewer stated he would vote against the deal on December 12 and pledged his support to a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister Theresa May.

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In a statement, he said: "I stood on a Conservative manifesto which promised that, if elected, a Conservative government would take the United Kingdom out of the Customs Union, out of the Single Market and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

"This 'deal' achieves none of those things and divides Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK in a totally unacceptable way and in contravention of my most deeply held principles."

Theresa May, on the other hand, says the deal delivers on the result of the referendum by simultaneously tackling the issue of border control while maintaining a "close relationship with our neighbours".

It proposes a points-based immigration system to end the free movement of people and pledges to maintain a free trade area with the rest of the EU.

Boris Johnson is one of a number of MPs to criticise the current agreement.

The UK would be free to strike new trade deals with countries outside Europe under the deal, which also pledges to end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice here and to leave the common agricultural and fisheries policies.

And part of the divorce agreement proposes to "end vast annual payments" to the EU - which Mrs May says can, instead, be spent on the NHS.

Parliament will vote on the agreement on December 12, leaving the Prime Minister with two weeks to stave off an uprising from Conservative backbenchers - which currently includes Northampton's own Mr Lewer.

Thorplands man John Allen, chairman of Northampton Brexit, called the deal a "disgrace".

Andrew Lewer has already stated his intention to vote against the proposals.

"The reality is, it puts us in a worse position than staying in," he said.

Critics of the deal - including former foreign secretary Boris Johnson say it fails to deliver on the arguments for leaving, put forward in the 2016 referendum campaign.

Some Brexiteers argue that rather than taking back control, the UK is giving the EU too much of a say in key areas and will be restricted in its ability to strike trade deals with other countries.

In particular, they fear the UK could find itself trapped indefinitely in a "backstop" customs arrangement, designed to avoid the need for physical checks of people and goods at the border on the island of Ireland.

John Allen, chairman of Northampton Brexit.

But where do you stand on the deal?

Our poll, above, asks whether you would vote for Brexit today, if the only offer on the table was the Brexit agreement being debated. To find out the results, pick up a copy of the Chonicle and Echo on Thursday, November 29.