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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:07 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of Ian Murray Ian Murray Labour, Edinburgh South 2:07 pm, 1st February 2017

I will not give way, if my hon. Friend does not mind, because of the timescale and the fact that other people wish to speak.

At the end of the EU referendum campaign, 78% of my constituents voted to remain. Many Members from across the Chamber in the last day or so have talked about not respecting the democratic will of the people, but, as far as I am concerned and according to “Erskine May”, we are representatives of our constituents. None of these decisions in the House is taken easily; in fact, it is with a heavy heart that I will vote against triggering article 50 this evening, but I will do so in the knowledge that I will be able to walk down the streets of Edinburgh South, look my constituents in the eye and say to them that I have done everything I possibly can to protect their jobs, their livelihoods and the future of their families.

When the Bill goes through Third Reading and the Lords, as we know it will, I will work enthusiastically to get amendments to it and hold the Government to account. Brexit might mean Brexit, but to my constituents and to many people across the country Brexit does not mean Tory Brexit. The rhetoric we have been hearing from the Government is wrong. I do not know why they are fighting the people to stop Parliament having a say, and I do not know why they are not reaching out across the Chamber to try to get a common sound and a common voice, to make sure that Britain can get the best possible deal from our European partners. I will vote no this evening, against triggering article 50, but rest assured that I will spend the rest of the time in this Chamber fighting for my constituents’ lives.