[2nd Allotted Day]

Part of Immigration (Time Limit on Detention) – in the House of Commons at 6:03 pm on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 6:03 pm, 5th December 2018

In June 2016, the country voted by a narrow majority to leave the European Union. The Prime Minister is offering us a deal and says we should vote for it because it delivers the will of the narrow majority. She also threatens us with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, with all the truly damaging consequences for our economy and for people’s livelihoods. So what is my duty as an MP to resolve this matter in the light of the 2016 referendum? Do I have to vote for any Brexit that is put in front of me? The duty of an MP in our representative democracy is to listen to the people and respect their views, and to use our own judgment as to what is best for our constituents and the country. Keeping this balance is at the heart of the matter before us.

Nobody can deny that the referendum happened or the result it produced. In the past two years, we have been confronted by many worrying reports of how the leave campaign manipulated the campaign in an improper way, and we should be deeply concerned about the threat to our democracy that such manipulation poses. However, the result has not been nullified and the Government had a duty to find a Brexit that was good for the country, so I have looked at the deal in front of us and asked two questions. Does the deal result in us leaving the EU? It does. Does it protect the long-term interests of our country? It does not. Why should I vote for it if I truly believe that it is not in the interests of my constituents or the country?