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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:36 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon 2:36 pm, 1st February 2017

Parliament, since its beginning, has been the place where elected Britons debate and make the decisions that affect our country’s future, so it is only right that tonight this House will vote to trigger article 50. I was one of the 544 who voted for the referendum to give our people a choice on our future, so it would be entirely inconsistent to reject the verdict of that referendum, even if it is at odds with my own view. I voted and campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU, and I was disappointed by the result. Some 71% of my constituents voted to remain. In the past week, I have received literally hundreds of letters telling me that I should represent them tonight and vote against the Government. As much as my hon. Friend Sir Gerald Howarth, I too am a defender of democracy. I voted knowing full well that if leave won the debate then that is what would happen. Tonight, therefore, I will be in the Lobby voting to trigger article 50.