Leave and remain voters came together at the Edge Conferencing Centre in Wigan for an open discussion about the frustrations and failures that caused the Brexit vote, and what must be done to address them.
The “People’s Voice Wigan” event was the latest stop on a national tour seeking common ground between people who voted leave and remain, those who support a new Brexit referendum and those who remain to be convinced.
Campaigners for a People’s Vote organised Thursday’s community event in Wigan because they know that a new referendum has to be different from 2016: It has to offer real solutions to the towering challengers this country faces, starting by recognising that 2016 was a turning point for the whole UK.
The event was led by a panel of political campaigners and community leaders from Wigan, and was chaired by Canon Nigel Ashworth, Rector of St Ann’s Church Manchester.
Canon Nigel Ashworth, Rector of St Ann’s Church Manchester City Centre, said: “It was a full and frank discussion with topics ranging from the North South divide to immigration, the impact on local business of a No Deal Brexit through to issues of identity: what it means to come from Wigan or Westhoughton, Leigh or Liverpool.”
“Yet despite obvious political differences, when people come together in a safe space, where listening is as important as speaking, there were moments of commonality too. Everyone in that room in Wigan last night wanted the best for their family and friends. For their community. For their town.”
Josh Hindle, campaigner for the People’s Vote in Wigan, said: “We are now in the fourth year since the referendum. Not only are the facts of now very different to the promises made in 2016 but the mood of country has changed too. It is why so many people in the room last night wanted to talk about what next - how do we start to unite, come together and move forward."
"2016 was a turning point, when millions of people asked to be heard. So, village by village, town by town, city by city we are holding People’s Voice events to listen. It supports the wider efforts by the People's Vote campaign to strengthen democracy by ensuring everyone's voice, whether they voted Leave or Remain, is heard. Now is the time we focus on what binds us as communities and not what divides us politically"