Decision details

Decision details

Benefits of EU membership

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Councillor Gant proposed his submitted motion as set out in the briefing note, and drew attention to a change to correct an inaccuracy.  


Councillor Goddard seconded the motion.


Councillor Hollingsworth said he would have preferred to remove the second and third paragraphs of the preamble as he considered these unhelpful, but was prepared to support the remainder of the motion. Councillor Price reminded councillors that their influence in this national area was limited.


After debate and on being put to the vote, the corrected motion was declared carried.


Council agreed the following motion:

Council notes that:

·           On 18 April 2016 this council voted almost unanimously to affirm its commitment to the benefits of membership of the EU. Among many other benefits to the people of Oxford, Council specifically identified membership of the single market. Council asked the Leader to write to Oxford’s MPs setting out its views.

·           On 1 February 2017 the House of Commons voted to give the Prime Minister the authority to trigger Article 50. However, despite the fact that the Bill made no attempt to safeguard the benefits identified by this Council by bringing the eventual deal back to parliament or the country, both of Oxford’s then MPs, Nicola Blackwood and Rt Hon Andrew Smith, voted with the government. (Among those voting against were Liberal Democrat and Green MPs and the Labour MP for Cambridge, which faces many of the same issues from Brexit as Oxford).

·           On 29 June 2017 the House of Commons debated an amendment to the Queen’s Speech guaranteeing UK membership of the single market after Brexit, clearly reflecting the views of this council in its motion of April 2016, that leaving the single market and ending freedom of movement would be particularly harmful to thousands of citizens of EU27 states living, studying, and working in Oxford, to their family members, and indeed to the community at large.  Anneliese Dodds MP abstained on the amendment. Layla Moran MP voted for the amendment.


Council therefore:

·         asks the Leader of the council to publish to members the correspondence with MPs resulting from the motion of 18 April 2016, including their replies;

·         reaffirms its wholehearted commitment to the spirit and letter of its motion of 18 April 2016, bearing in mind the changed context since the referendum;

asks the Leader to write to Oxford’s MPs repeating the views of this Council, reminding them of the strong “Remain” vote in Oxford, and asking them to commit publicly to argue for continued access to the benefits and freedoms of the EU for the people of Oxford as far as possible at every stage of the withdrawal process, and vote accordingly.

Publication date: 02/10/2017

Date of decision: 02/10/2017

Decided at meeting: 02/10/2017 - Council

Accompanying Documents: