political leaders have come together to promote “acceptance and respect” as they prepare for Brexit.

The leaders of Brighton and Hove’s Labour, Green and Conservative groups have signed an “open letter of unity”.

It states: “During this time of change around the UK’s relationship with the EU, we want to share a message of unity with our residents, businesses and the millions of visitors that come to Brighton and Hove each year.

“Our city is well known for its free thinking, open and inclusive nature.

“We promote acceptance and respect for difference and we are an internationally recognised City of Sanctuary.

“These things are at the heart of what we do and will remain central to our future journey.

“We value the contributions of all our residents who have made their home here and contribute to our vibrant city life.

“We hope our EU citizens will stay in the city and are working together with local and national partners to ensure we prepare responsibly to support them through any potential changes caused by Brexit.

“As political leaders representing different parties, we have different views on many subjects but we are united in our determination that Brighton and Hove’s reputation as an open and welcoming place will continue.

“We are proud to be leaders in a diverse and inclusive city and we have faith in the fortitude of the people we represent.

“Our vision is for a fairer city with a sustainable future and we believe that, by working with our residents and businesses to showcase the best of Brighton and Hove, we can achieve this.

“The future is in all of our hands.”

Labour council leader Nancy Platts, leader of the Conservative group Steve Bell and convenor of the Green group Phelim Mac Cafferty put their name to the statement.

The EU referendum in which it was decided Britain would be leaving the EU took place on June 23, 2016.

The country voted by 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the EU.

But Brighton and Hove bucked the national trend, voting overwhelmingly in favour of staying in the EU with remain votes making up 68.6 per cent of the city’s total.

Since the vote, debates have raged over whether the UK should leave with calls for a second “People’s Vote” to provide a conclusive answer.

But, with the Conservative party having secured a landslide victory in the December General Election with the mantra “get Brexit done”, Britain leaving the EU is imminent.