Green MEP warns Devon farmers could suffer without Brexit peoples’ vote

South West Green MEP Dr Molly Scott Cato with North Devon Green Party members Ricky Knight and Robbi

South West Green MEP Dr Molly Scott Cato with North Devon Green Party members Ricky Knight and Robbie Mack. Picture: Tony Gussin - Credit: Archant

Farmers could be ‘driven over the edge’ in the wake of Brexit an audience in Barnstaple will be told tonight (Friday, March 1).

South West Green Party MEP Dr Molly Scott Cato will be speaking at a public meeting in Barnstaple Library at 7pm, with all welcome.

Dr Cato is pushing for a ‘people’s vote’ on Brexit and believes the tide is turning as many people begin to realise it was not what they voted for.

She told the Gazette before the meeting there was particular worry in North Devon around farming, with producers fearful they would not have market for their goods after Brexit, as well as concern over losing subsidies and rising trade tariffs.

She said: “What people were offered is not what Brexit is turning out to be.

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“It’s quite unclear what will happen; most of our agricultural exports go to the EU, especially lamb.

“People who voted leave realise now it’s much more complicated than that – they thought about the positives, whether that was independence or £350million, but they weren’t thinking about the negatives such as difficulty to travel or trade.

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“Now people realise that, lots of people want to vote again and that’s particularly true of farmers.”

But Dr Cato believes Brexit will not come down to a ‘no deal’, as she thinks parliament would vote to stop that.

The meeting at the library will be chaired by Dr Teresa Tinsley of Devon for Europe and will feature a panel of speakers, as well as a question and answer session and discussion.

Dr Cato is in North Devon for most of the weekend to support the North Devon Green Party as it gears up for the May district and parish council elections.

She will be out with local party members canvassing in Barnstaple central and Heanton Punchardon wards.

Robbie Mack, the local prospective parliamentary candidate, who is also standing in the council elections, said: “It’s fantastic to have Molly here to speak in – allegedly – the last month before Brexit and in what could be her South West farewell tour before March 29.

“But we are hoping it is simply ‘au revoir’ and that Brexit can be avoided with a peoples’ vote.

“It’s also great to have her here to support us as we prepare for the May 2 elections, where we are hoping to stand a full field of Green Party candidates.”

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