Second EU Referendum

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

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Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Conservative, Redditch

If he will make an assessment of the implications for his Department’s policies of a second referendum on the UK leaving the EU.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

The Government have been clear all along that we will not hold a second referendum. A clear majority of the electorate delivered an instruction to the Government to withdraw from the European Union, with 17.4 million votes cast in that manner.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Conservative, Redditch

I thank the Minister for his unwavering commitment to that position, which my constituents will be very pleased to hear. A clear majority of people in Redditch —62%—voted to leave. That is nearly 29,000 people who voted to leave in that historic vote. Does he therefore agree that to go back on that vote and on our manifesto commitment would cause massive damage to our democracy?

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend—[Interruption.] I hear some murmuring from Labour Members that they refuse to deliver on their manifesto commitments that were made in exactly the same manner. I guess that a fair question to ask those proposing a second referendum: should they not come clean and admit that they are not really after asking the British people, and that they just want to prevent us from leaving the European Union in the first place? That would be a much more honest position for them to take.