Exiting the European Union: Meaningful Vote

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:51 pm on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of Kate Hoey Kate Hoey Labour, Vauxhall 3:51 pm, 11th December 2018

My hon. Friend is quite right. It was quite shocking just how those people were ridiculed by so many people on the remain side. They voted to leave and they showed their confidence in the future of our country.

Two days after the referendum, my 95-year-old mother, who was desperately keen to get us out of the EU, said to me, “Catharine”—because that is what I am called by the family—“you know, dear, they will never let us leave.” I said, “No, Mum—we live in a democracy.” How wrong I was. If only, on 24 June 2016, we had all come together determined to make the most of our new opportunities, we may not have found ourselves in this position. Too many people continued to find every legal impediment to delay and try to thwart the decision of the British people.

I am very sorry that, as it turns out, it almost seems as though the Prime Minister has acted like she is one of those people. I believed her when she said that Brexit meant Brexit, but I was wrong. I believed her when she set out her red lines in her Lancaster House speech, but I was wrong. I believed her when she said that no deal was better than a bad deal, but I was wrong. Most of all, as a strong supporter of our United Kingdom and Northern Ireland’s place within it, I believed her when she said that there would never be a border down the Irish sea, but I was wrong.

When it comes to caving into the EU, it seems that our Prime Minister went wanting to be nice and did not stand up for our country. When histories are written of this period, as they will be, they will revolve around the question of whether the border in Northern Ireland was a true stumbling block or just a convenient excuse. Mr Campbell gave very clear evidence of why everything that has been said about the border was wrong.