Welwyn Hatfield MP reacts to Brookmans Park Brexitometer
PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:46 13 October 2018
Welwyn Hatfield's MP Grant Shapps has reacted to the majority pro-EU findings of a Brexitometer in the constituency area where he lives.
Yet another Brexitometer has appeared in Welwyn Hatfield, this time taking the temperature at Brookmans Park, Grant Shapps’ very own neck of the woods.
At Brookmans Park station, as in other instances in Welwyn Garden City and Potters Bar, the Brexitometer on October 2 showed a strong leaning towards Remainer views, with a majority of people saying they’d like to see a people’s vote on the final deal.
A Brexitometer is an informal polling tool that asks passers-by to place a coloured sticker on a grid indicating their views on how Brexit is going, if they think it will help the economy and the NHS, and if people would like a vote on the final deal.
Liberal Democrat councillor Helen Quenet, who organised the stunt, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “We expected a different reception to our Brexitometer poll in Brookmans Park, since the area has been a Conservative stronghold.
“But the response confirms that views on Brexit have changed since the referendum, and that people want a vote on the final deal.”
Two Brexitometers have been organised each time by councillors of the pro-Remain Liberal Democrats, although councillor Barbara Gibson insists it is not a party political effort.
Mr Shapps, who lives in the Conservative stronghold of Brookmans Park, voted to Remain.
However, he has consistently toed the Conservative party line ever since the referendum, which has insisted that the process is going well and has refused calls for a people’s vote.
When asked what he thought about the results, Mr Shapps said: “Polling is an immensely complex subject.
“As you’ll be aware, even the actual pollsters got the result of the Brexit vote wrong, as well as the result of the 2015 election, etc, etc. So I think the only poll that actually matters is the one that already took place.
“In Welwyn Hatfield the vote was narrowly in favour of leaving the EU and despite being on the losing side of that vote, I am a democrat and don’t believe in simply re-asking the question until you get the result you fancy.”
Both Vote Leave and Stronger In campaigns have been found to have breached spending rules, with Vote Leave being referred to police by the Electoral Commission in July.
Asked how he could reassure voters of the legitimacy of the referendum result, Mr Shapps said: “It’s for the authorities to decide whether the result was valid. So far I’ve not heard any official word that it was not.
“If it turns out not to have been legally valid that would be different. We have a legal system to resolve such issues.”
In September the High Court agreed with the Electoral Commission’s finding that Vote Leave had broken the law, although it said that the Commission had “misinterpreted” spending laws.