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Leaving the Eu: Negotiations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 10th July 2018.

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Photo of Steve Double Steve Double Conservative, St Austell and Newquay 3:43 pm, 10th July 2018

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right that the turnout was very high. I observed that the more “Project Fear” turned up the heat and told people that they were wrong to think of voting to leave, the more people were driven to vote leave. It was very much a reaction against being told by the establishment, “We know best. You should do what we tell you.”

My second point is that to have a second referendum now would undermine our negotiating position. The point has been made many times, but it needs to be made again: if the EU knows that whatever deal is agreed will be put to a vote of the British people, it will make sure that it is the worst possible deal that it can provide, in the hope that we will reject it, reverse the decision to leave and remain in the EU. For that reason, we cannot allow a second referendum to take place.

My third point is that any second referendum would cause further delay and uncertainty. People want us to get on with it. Business wants certainty: it wants to know what the end state is going to be. Any second referendum would delay that and create even more uncertainty, because even when we had agreed a deal with the EU, we would not know whether the British people were going to support it. British business would not know whether it was going to be the final outcome. If it was rejected, that would create further delay and uncertainty. Right now, more than anything, business wants to know what the state of play is going to be when we leave. Business wants certainty and to know what the circumstances are going to be. Any second referendum would cause further delay and create even more uncertainty.