Second EU Referendum

Exiting the European Union – in the House of Commons on 24th January 2019.

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Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

Whether the Government plan to bring forward legislative proposals to hold a second referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

The Government will not hold a second referendum, and will not introduce any legislation to enable one to be held.

Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

I kind of expected that answer from the Secretary of State. However, the Prime Minister will return to Parliament in a week’s time and expect MPs to vote again on her deal. If it is acceptable for them to have a second vote, why is it not acceptable for the public to have one?

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

It seems to me that some MPs do not want a second vote. They had already voted to give the British public a say in the referendum; then they voted to trigger article 50, and then they voted to include the date in the Bill that became the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. It is not really a great look for the public for people to say, “We got it wrong three times, but give us a fourth go.”

Photo of Darren Jones Darren Jones Labour, Bristol North West

In the light of today’s deeply concerning statements from Airbus, will the Secretary of State tell us first how many workers the Government are willing to see made redundant in order to keep the Conservative party together, and secondly whether those workers deserve the democratic right to a people’s vote?

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

The crux of the issue is that the industries concerned want a deal and support the deal. The hon. Gentleman’s party, and indeed he, stood on a manifesto commitment to delivering on the biggest vote in our history. The issue for those workers whose jobs are in question—and the question that the hon. Gentleman needs to answer for them—is why he is going back on a manifesto that he gave his own voters.