Thousands of people have taken part in a Hartlepool Mail poll on Brexit and given the message that they want the country out of the the European Union.
Ahead of a crucial vote in Parliament tomorrow, the Mail has found that readers continue to support leaving the EU, as they did with the overwhelming result in the 2016 Referendum.
Hartlepool’s MP Mike Hill has responded to the Mail readers’ poll, which backs leaving the EU even without a deal, insisting a General Election is the best option to resolve the Brexit impasse.
He said he recognised the mood of his constituents, as the Mail’s online survey found 55% of readers who took part want a swift Brexit exit, but he added that a national election was preferable.
Mr Hill, who plans to vote against the Prime Minister Theresa May’s much-criticised Brexit deal tomorrow, said it was the best way to protect the UK’s economy, business, jobs and essential services.
The Labour member spoke out after our readers’ poll showed strong support from Hartlepool’s voters for Britain to get out of Europe, even without a deal with the EU.
Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29 under the terms of Article 50, the legal withdrawal mechanism.
Our poll asked: “Should Brexit proceed without a deal with the EU?”
It saw 3,741 votes cast and found that 55% of the readers who responded favour leaving even if a deal cannot be reached.
Hartlepool saw one of the biggest ‘Out’ votes nationwide, with 32,071 people voting Leave and 14,029 Remain - a resounding 69.6% against 30.4%.
Responding to the Mail’s poll, Mr Hill said: “I intend to vote against Theresa May’s proposed deal on Tuesday, nothing of any significance that she is proposing has changed from that which would have been put forward at Christmas.”
And Mr Hill, elected the town’s MP in June 2017, a year after the Brexit referendum, added: “My preferred Brexit option is, that if Parliament remains at an impasse, then for a General Election to be called.
“I have always followed the direction of travel of the majority of my constituents, and will continue to do so, while striving to protect the economy, jobs, businesses, workplace rights and the public services people rely on such as the NHS.”
Mrs May’s plan was originally due to be put before the House of Commons in December, but was postponed over fears she would lose.
Speaking immediately after his election, Mr Hill said it was clear voters expected measured negotiations which focussed on protecting jobs and services, inward investment, trade and exports, human rights and employment rights.
He contested that this was very much at odds with Conservative leader Mrs May’s mantra of ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’.
Mr Hill has said Britain faced being left in an indefinite relationship with the EU on the backstop between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and having to obey EU rules.