[2nd Allotted Day]

Part of Immigration (Time Limit on Detention) – in the House of Commons at 5:12 pm on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley 5:12 pm, 5th December 2018

It is great to follow my right hon. Friend Sammy Wilson and his siren warnings about what could happen over the coming weeks and months if we do not listen. I understand that people are talking to the DUP; it is about time that people started listening to the DUP. There is a huge difference.

I am not one of the MPs who has stood up and waxed lyrical on this issue over the past two years, as some Members in this Chamber have done. Barely a debate has gone by without certain Members sharing what they believe is right. I have heard a lot of talk today about honesty, transparency and treating people like adults. That is a good idea, because in 2016 we had a people’s vote. For anybody even to suggest that another referendum would be the people’s vote because the last one was not is totally and wholly fraudulent. It is ridiculous.

A people’s vote was held in 2016. We MPs in this Parliament allowed it to be held, and it was held. Surprise, surprise: it was not what people in the main thought was going to happen. I remember watching the result. There was no exit poll. The pound was up, shares were up, and Nigel Farage conceded defeat. Then, of course, the results started to come in. People who lived in the bubble of London could be forgiven for thinking that remain was going to win, but what happened was that there were swathes of people in the north-east, the north-west, and the south-west who felt as if nobody was listening to them—that they were the invisible people. Thanks to David Cameron, though, they were given a voice, they used that voiced, and the voice said leave. Now, all of a sudden, those people are facing this Parliament, which is saying, “Not only don’t we see you; we have now decided not to listen to you.” That is wholly dangerous indeed.

When we agree to a referendum, we really do need to respect the result. In 1997, when I was a shadow Minister, Wales had a referendum on devolution. The result was 50.3% in favour and 49.7% against, on a 50.1% turnout. What did we do? We conceded. The difference between yes and no was under 7,000, but we conceded that that was what should happen, and devolution was given to the people of Wales. It would have been wholly wrong had we not done that.