Mr Matheson, shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, went along to support the Chester For Europe group at The Cross who were gathering names of people who want a final say on any Brexit deal in a second poll.
The group says the EU Action Day was one of around 150 to take place ‘up and down the land’.
Mr Matheson, a firm Remainer, describes leaving the EU as ‘an act of national lunacy’ but chooses his words carefully when asked if he is in favour of a second referendum. He is no doubt mindful that former shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland Owen Smith was sacked from that role when he publicly called for a second Brexit vote.
Mr Matheson said: “My views on Europe are well known and have not changed. I am a proud Remainer and I think Brexit is a disastrous idea but we are where we are.
“I think we all benefit from continued membership of the European Union . That’s my opinion and it’s not changed.”
Should a second referendum be held?
He responded: “Labour’s current position is not to have a second referendum.”
The Chester For Europe group claims those who voted to both Leave and Remain in 2016 expressed their belief the public should be given a final say on the terms of any Brexit deal, with the ‘vast majority’ expressing concern Brexit negotiations were ‘not going well and are not what they voted for’.
Founder member John Tacon commented: “Whereas we expected many people to be concerned, the level of support in Chester was beyond expectations.
“Almost nobody expressed satisfaction at how the negotiations were going, and we gathered more names for our mailing list than we had sheets for.
“It was also great to be joined briefly by Chester MP Chris Matheson, who we’d like to thank for coming down, it was great to see him there and we appreciate his support.
“However, what was striking was both the level of support and concern from people of all political stripes, including those who voted Leave.
“It seems very few people are happy with negotiations currently and we are here to demand the people have a chance to assess the final deal on its merits. It is not democracy to suggest we just put up with whatever Theresa May ’s negotiating team comes up with, no matter how damaging it may be.
“The people of this country deserve a chance to approve or reject the Brexit deal and it is clear many, many people in Chester are coming to this view, as they are around the land.”
Fellow founder member and activist Teresa Fajardo added: “It appears not to matter how people voted in the Referendum. Remainers are unhappy and many Leavers are too.
“We are seeing grass roots organisations sprouting up all over the country asking for a final say, and Chester is no exception. If you are interested to know more about our plans, search out our Facebook page or Twitter , both named Chester for Europe.
“We will be doing more events like this and joining up with other regional and national events. It is a great chance to meet people and make sure your voice is heard.”
Contact details for Chester for Europe can be found at: www.facebook.com/chesterforeurope