BREXIT: Result would be different

Mr Spotwood claims that the referendum was a clear mandate for leaving the EU and that polls show that opinion has not changed, (Northumberland Gazette, March 1).

I believe he is wrong. A 52 per cent to 48 per cent lead for Leave is hardly a convincing majority in a national vote.

If you want to change the constitution of even a minor sports club you usually need a two-thirds majority, and under union law a ballot needs the support of over 50 per cent of all those entitled to vote, while the referendum result was only supported by 37 per cent of the electorate.

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Since the referendum national polls have shown a steady drift from Leave towards Remain, enough to swing the vote the opposite way if it was re-run.

Polls in Northumberland carried out by Angels for Europe have shown the same trend. In addition, we have found quite a few people who didn’t vote in the referendum who would now vote Remain. I would suggest the 52 per cent in favour is now less than 48 per cent, and falling.

The Angels website has much more detail of the surveys we have carried out.

On the subject of EU migrants, Mr Spotwood points to the fact that the EU refused David Cameron a ‘special brake’ on immigration in 2016.

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However, when the EU expanded (with our Government’s strong support) to include the East European states, Britain was almost the only member not to apply immigration controls from those new member countries.

Under EU rules, when EU citizens move to another country they have three months to find work. They cannot receive benefits and they must have health insurance. They have to leave unless they find work in that time. The UK Government chooses not to enforce this, although other EU countries do.

The Government claims that it wants to control immigration, but it does not do so when it can. In fact, more migrants come to Britain from outside the EU than within it. The UK Government’s own figures for 2016 showed 42 per cent from the EU compared with 45 per cent non-EU migrants. So the UK Government is failing to reduce migration, even when it has unlimited control. We cannot blame the EU for our own decisions.

In any case, the last 12 months have shown us that immigration is good for Britain, providing essential workers for the health service, for our universities and in many industries, which face disaster if they cannot recruit the staff that they need.

Lynda McKenna,

Angels for Europe