I campaigned for remain in last year’s referendum, believing that it was in the best medium-term economic interests of my constituents. I did so having stood on a manifesto that promised the British people a vote on our membership of the EU and that promised to honour the result of the referendum whatever the outcome.
We must remember in this place that a record number of people—a massive 72% of electors—turned out to vote on 23 June, bucking recent electoral trends. Many of my constituents, already in their 40s, had never ever voted before because they thought that, until then, their voices and their votes did not count. They voted in June for the first time. Contrary to what commentators on both the left and the right say, these people are not simpletons, and they are not children; they are adults with as much right to vote as any of us. They knew the risks of voting to leave and they did so anyway. We must respect that decision and not seek to undermine it.