A number of constituents have written to me with an email entitled “It's Time To Back A Compromise - A Public Vote.”
The promise made during the referendum was that voters would decide if we left or remained in the EU. Both sides put forward their best arguments. The vote was to leave. It is imperative that vote is honoured. Many MPs who at the last election said they would honour the referendum result have done all they can to thwart the process.
I will never support a second referendum. If MPs will not respect the result of the 2016 referendum why would anyone trust them to respect the outcome of a second one? The Liberal Democrats have already made clear if the result of another referendum is again to leave they will still campaign to remain!
There is no mandate for another referendum. The 2016 referendum came about because David Cameron put it in the Conservative manifesto in 2015. We won a majority and implemented our manifesto commitment. In 2017 both the main parties pledged to respect the referendum result. The Liberal Democrats campaigned for a 2nd referendum and won a total of 12 seats. If Labour or any other party now want another referendum they should put it in their manifesto, have a general election and let the country decide.
Article 50 sets out we will seek a deal with the EU and now against all odds and in record time the PM has achieved what his detractors said would be impossible; a revised deal that has been approved by the House. A momentous achievement. If there is concern over a no deal scenario then the obvious solution is to allow the progress of the PMs deal.
The deal that has been negotiated will create a clear path for the UK to be free from all its currents ties to the EU and work for a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, whilst enabling us to develop trading arrangements with other countries. Importantly this deal will also maintain the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom, with all four corners of the UK remaining within our customs union when we depart from the EU.
What will serve our children and future generations best is for them to see the democratic process in action, with everyone accepting the result of a ballot – even when they disagree. Further I firmly believe the best future for all of us lies with the UK becoming a sovereign nation again free to trade across the world – and with our friends and neighbours in Europe.