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Portsmouth votes to Brexit

March 29, 2016

Portsmouth City Council has voted to support Brexit. This was comprehensively reported by Greg Heffer in the Express on 24th March (https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/655066/Portsmouth-City-Council-votes-Brexit-EU-referendum-Penny-Mordaunt-Ukip).

According to this article: "The council’s motion stated: "Due to the negative impact that EU directives such as the agency working time directive, the EU procurement rules and the EU waste framework directive have on the ability and cost of Portsmouth City Council to fulfil its obligations, this council agrees that Portsmouth and indeed all of Britain would be better off outside the European Union."

So it seems that Portsmouth City Council would like to see the people who elected it denied the protection of the EU in their working lives. It would also prefer not to have to comply with the EU on landfill. Today I have been to Portsmouth and been shown the sizeable hills that are made of landfill waste and the ventilation systems to disperse the methane that these hills emit into the atmosphere. If anywhere needs stricter waste regulations, it's Portsmouth. 

Further on the article states: "Council officers are required to be politically neutral but Ukip claimed the result means taxpayer-funded newsletters to Portsmouth residents will not be able to “stealth promote” pro-EU messages in the run-up to the referendum." 

That Portsmouth City Council were deploying time (for which taxpayers are paying) to debate this issue is politically partisan, and therefore in direct contravention of the requirement to be politically neutral. That newsletters promoting the pro-EU message will be prohibited but pro-Brexit newsletters will be permitted is not only politically partisan but also politically and morally wrong. For to allow only one half of the arguments and facts to be disseminated is to deny the people of Portsmouth the right to the full information that they need in order to make properly informed decisions.  

Will we see, at the time of the next General Election, Portsmouth City Council voting to exclude all political parties apart from UKIP from campaigning in Portsmouth? In the present Portsmouth is the first city to vote for Brexit; in the future Portsmouth could be the first city to vote for a One Party State. 

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