With Brexit looming and Britain’s future looking uncertain, WatfordNews spoke to town politicians to see where they stand.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor admitted his concern for Watford as Britain’s exit from the European Union nears completion.
In an interview with MyWatfordNews, Mayor Taylor bemoaned Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations and spoke of the negative impact Brexit could have on Watford in particular.
He said: “Watford was the closest result in the country, it was 50.3 per cent leave and we’re in many ways a microcosm. The campaign wasn’t good; we got out and knocked on doors and talked to residents every week and you do meet people who say, ‘I didn’t really know what the issues were’, so it was a very confused campaign.
“It’s been a very poor Brexit negotiation over the past two-and-a-half years. Back then, I thought we should remain members of the EU and I certainly don’t think many people’s minds will have changed because of the negotiations.
“It will make us poorer, we’ll have less influence as a country, there’s a whole list of reasons why it’s not a good idea.
“It gets raised with me a lot and, as a council, the government has given us £35,000 and that’s apparently meant to cover all the consequences of Brexit – I don’t think that will come close.”
Meanwhile, Richard Harrington, Conservative MP for Watford and business minister, has been airing his concerns about a no-deal Brexit, even threatening to resign if Theresa May hasn’t confirmed a deal by March 29, when Britain officially leave the EU.
While he also gave his backing to the Prime Minister to secure a deal, Mr Harrington MP said he believed a no-deal would “never happen”, as Parliament would take control of negotiations and force a short extension to get a deal if May couldn’t.
Watford Liberal Democrats Parliamentary candidate, councillor Ian Stotesbury, said: “Right now the main challenge is Brexit. I firmly believe we need a stronger debate.
“I personally want to see a referendum on EU membership, because I don’t think the public were well served by the referendum and the campaigners need to be held to account.”
Watford Labour’s Parliamentary candidate, Chris Ostrowski, said: “I, and the rest of the Labour Party, remain utterly opposed to crashing out with no deal. It would be disastrous for our economy in a town like Watford.
“It may be that the only way to stop a No Deal Brexit is to have another referendum and Labour is to open to that option if the negotiations fail.”