Exiting the European Union: Meaningful Vote

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:23 pm on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of Bernard Jenkin Bernard Jenkin Chair, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Chair, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee 3:23 pm, 11th December 2018

I will return to one or two of the points raised by Hilary Benn.

To overcome the present paralysis, we must all face some truths that perhaps even a majority of the House are finding difficult to face. I would have voted against the withdrawal treaty, because it is the very antithesis of taking back control, but the truth we have to face is that the result of this referendum was not some “exotic spresm,” as expressed by Sir Vince Cable, or any other kind of freak accident. It was the logical expression of the accumulation of decades of resentment about how this country has become subject to an out-of-touch political elite who have become happy to subjugate national democratic accountability to an unelected, unaccountable group of commissioners and judges in the EU. That is what the referendum was about.

Now I hear some Members, like my right hon. and learned Friend Mr Grieve, openly arguing for remaining in the EU, as though the referendum could somehow be ignored. That way madness lies for our country. It would be a final vindication of those who would argue that votes never count and democracy can change nothing.