A Barnet citizens' group is calling on council election candidates to press for a re-think on the “destructive” course the country has taken since the EU referendum.

Chipping Barnet for Europe (CB4EU) has attacked the “conspiracy of silence around Brexit from both major parties” and will urge would-be councillors to speak out about the impact of Brexit and the disadvantages of ignoring Remain voters.

In an open letter due to be sent to candidates ahead of the elections on May 3, the group states: “As an individual who cares enough about Barnet to put your head above the parapet and stand for election, we would urge you to think carefully about the consequences of persisting with Brexit.

“Please make the case for remaining in the EU to your party, nationally as well as locally, and stand up for what the majority of Barnet voters know to be right.”

CB4EU is confident it can help secure a “meaningful” vote on the Brexit deal after receiving a “fantastic” response to its lobbying campaign from members of the House of Lords.

The group wrote to 280 peers asking them to help secure such a vote and has so far received supportive comments from 25 members of the house.

Chipping Barnet resident David Webb, the group’s press officer and one of its founding members, is keen to stress that Brexit is a local issue as well as a national one.

He said: “We have a local hospital and local businesses that will be affected by Brexit. There are citizens in Barnet living in limbo, and we want it on the agenda.”

In February, an analysis by Cambridge Econometrics commissioned by mayor of London Sadiq Khan revealed a hard Brexit would lead to 1,600 fewer jobs in Barnet by 2030.

Mr Webb claimed CB4EU was not looking to undermine the result of the referendum, pointing out that people were not necessarily in possession of the full facts when they cast their vote in June 2016.

He said reports had since revealed the scale of the damage Brexit could cause to the UK economy.

“If there was another vote, the people would have changed their will,” he said. “This is not some shadowy lobby overturning the will of the people.”

An amendment backed by Labour and a group of Tory rebels on December 13 forced the government to offer a “meaningful vote” on the final Brexit deal.

But concerns have been raised that MPs will ultimately be offered the choice of either accepting the agreement the government negotiates with the EU or crashing out without a deal.

A no-deal outcome would leave the United Kingdom trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, with higher tariffs on imports and exports that could hit the economy.

Mr Webb said: “The trouble with that position and Labour’s position, is that we are being offered a vote where we accept and leave or leave on WTO terms.

“It is not a meaningful deal unless there is an option to draw back from the cliff, look over the edge and see if we are going to jump.

“We will keep on campaigning until either we change people’s minds and succeed on getting a final say, or until it is clear that is not going to happen.”