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This is clearly an historic moment—the result of decades of campaigning in this House and outside it, and of course the result of a decision by the people of the UK. It is perfectly reasonable and perfectly rational for people to hold the view that we should not go ahead and free ourselves from Brussels, but to try to frustrate the decision by trying to show that the referendum result was in some way illegitimate or incomplete so that others can impose their view of what they think ought to have happened, is really not quite the ticket.
I reckon that no one voted thinking, “I’ll vote leave, because I’m pretty sure that we’ll still remain a member of the single market, so it will all be okay”. No one said, “I’ll vote leave because I’m pretty sure Parliament won’t vote to trigger article 50”. No one said, “I’ll vote leave, because I’m pretty sure that when the final deal is put to Parliament, they will reject it and we will go back”. People voted to leave because they wanted to leave.
The two district councils that make up most of my constituency voted to leave by 13,000 votes, and they voted to leave because they wanted to leave. That means triggering article 50. In its judgment on
The Prime Minister’s speech at Lancaster House was the exception that proves the rule, splendidly setting out the 12 areas of work that the Government will now seek to address. The next two years, I must say, impose an obligation on every Member not only to heal the divisions, as we heard from the hon. Member for Burnley, but to help shape the negotiations and ensure that our future relationship with the EU emerges in a way that reflects an open, tolerant spirit of exchange and accord—without political control. We should believe in the future, just as the country did on