A LORD has challenged Maldon’s MP to a debate over Brexit after giving a talk arguing for a second referendum.

Lord Andrew Adonis came to Maldon Town Hall to argue in favour of a so-called ‘People’s Vote’ on Tuesday night.

As well as discussing issues on Brexit, Lord Adonis called on Maldon MP John Whittingdale for a debate on the subject.

More than 100 people packed into the free event, organised by Maldon resident Colin Baldy who had contacted the Labour politician on Twitter.

Lord Adonis said: “It is great to be here in Maldon.

“It is important that local people hear various arguments and make their decisions from there.

“I was rather hoping John would here tonight so that we could have had a debate.

“However, if he is willing to come and debate me at some other point, I would happily take part.”

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

The content of the talk touched on many issues including his memories as a child growing up during the Winter of Discontent, the historical roots of the European Union, the issues with the concept of defining ‘leave’ and the issues with Ireland and the Irish backstop.

Maldon voted by almost 63 per cent to leave the EU in the referendum.

He then made personal predictions on the direction the country could go in, including near-endless extensions of Article 50, an agreement to the Prime Minister’s deal out of exhaustion, a different deal such as Norway-plus or a second referendum with three options of hard Brexit, the Prime Minister’s deal or remaining in the EU.

He stated his main reasons for wanting to remain in the EU were the preservation of jobs and the economy, a continuation of the Good Friday agreement, a benefit for the next generation and the argument that the union is “the best peace project in the world”.

A mix of Leave and Remain voters attended the meeting.

One resident, who leafleted in the area for the Leave campaign, said the talk was interesting and that he would like to see a debate between Lord Adonis and Mr Whittingdale.

He said: “He did put his point across but we know what his point is – we’ve heard it so many times.

“He spoke quite well but a lot of it wasn’t to do with Brexit. I don’t really know who he is really, I’ve only seen him on the news.

“I’m British through and through, and I think we should go without a deal.

“It may be hard for the first six to nine months, but it will level out and then England will be a lot better for it.

“It was interesting – I would come back if he comes back with Whittingdale.

“I’ve known Whittingdale and he’s a hard Brexiteer so it would be interesting to see what they would have to say to each other.”

Another resident who agreed with Lord Adonis said: “I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very interesting and thought-provoking.

“I am 100 per cent for a second referendum now and I just hope it happens because I do not want to leave Europe.”