[9th Allotted Day]

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Act – in the House of Commons at 6:21 pm on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of Simon Hoare Simon Hoare Conservative, North Dorset 6:21 pm, 15th January 2019

I am going to be incredibly parochial. In the 2017 general election, my personal manifesto to the voters of North Dorset said:

“I am working for a Brexit right for North Dorset that will support business, protect jobs and workers’
rights, promote local farming, safeguard the environment and give opportunities for our young.”

Having reviewed the deal, I am confident that it meets those commitments and the referendum decision to leave.

We live, as we know, in a representative democracy where the voters of North Dorset send me to Westminster to exercise my judgment and support the policies of the Conservative Government. I do not possess the judgment of Solomon. None of us does. All I can do is assure them that I am trying to do my best for them and for our country. I am conscious that in so doing I will not please everyone, but I do not think that that is the purpose of politics.

I am a democrat. I voted remain and my side lost. The referendum was not, as we know, our finest hour. The majority of the House made clear that it would support the decision and that Parliament would deliver it. I maintain that view. A second referendum is fools’ gold. Our country’s use of referendums is on constitutional issues, and Brexit is now an issue of domestic policy.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has worked her fingers to the bone, if I may say so, to get this deal right. It has my full and unequivocal support. To deliver Brexit, and to maintain and build faith in our democracy, this House should stop the posturing and support my right hon. Friend in the Lobby tonight.