70% of Welwyn Hatfield residents would vote to remain in the EU, poll finds
PUBLISHED: 10:15 07 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:20 07 June 2018
Over 70 per cent of people in Welwyn Hatfield would vote to remain in the European Union if another referendum was called, according to a WHT poll.
With the two-year anniversary approaching, 71 per cent of over 800 people asked online and in person said they would vote Remain.
In the 2016 poll, 53 per cent of Welwyn Hatfield voters backed Leave – a slightly larger majority than the national verdict of 52 per cent.
Many Remainers have called for a second referendum – citing a lack of detail when the first vote was made – and in a separate WHT poll around 65 per cent of nearly 600 people said they want another vote.
But Welwyn Hatfield’s MP Grant Shapps, who said he would vote Leave if another poll was called, said: “I believe that the last thing we need right now is yet another referendum.
“Regardless of how people voted – I happened to be Remain – I think the majority of Brits just want us to get on with it now.”
Welwyn Hatfield Chamber of Commerce chairman, Nick Brown, who voted Leave, also said the country should not waste time on another referendum.
“In the words of Michael Caine,” he added, “I would rather be a poor man in charge of my own destiny than a rich one controlled by somebody else.”
However, a significant chunk of residents claimed such a momentous decision should not be based on the negligible details available two years ago.
Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Barbara Gibson – who would back Remain in a re-run – said everyone would agree that voters lacked an “honest and realistic picture” of what they were voting for.
“Had it been clear that the referendum was merely advisory,” she added, “then our MPs – the majority of whom now believe we should remain – could do the right thing and reverse Brexit.”
Welwyn Hatfield Labour leader Kieran Thorpe said he would vote Remain “with reservations”, adding the Brexit chaos has stemmed from “boiling down a complex issue into a simple binary choice”.
Regarding a second vote, he said: “I’m honestly not sure, would holding another vote be any less chaotic or divisive than the last?” He added that the democratic result should be respected, but the problem seems to be the Government “hasn’t got a clue what it’s doing”.