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I do not accept the argument that says, “Because the vote was close,” or, “Because the legislation did not say it was binding.” I think we have to accept the results of the referendum in each of the four nations of the United Kingdom. That is why, although I sympathise with where my hon. Friend Angus Brendan MacNeil is coming from, I have some difficulty with his amendment, because I do not think we can permanently revoke article 50 unless we have a revised decision in another referendum.
When I say that we have to respect the result of the referendum, we have to respect the results in the four nations. It would be unacceptable for us to permanently revoke article 50 for England and Wales without asking the people of those nations what they thought. It is equally unacceptable and unconstitutional to ignore the express will of the people of Scotland or indeed Northern Ireland. We have the ridiculous situation where Northern Ireland cannot be made to stay in the United Kingdom against the will of its people and cannot be taken out of the United Kingdom against the will of its people, but can be taken out of the European Union against the will of its people. How does that work?
I cannot see any prospect of the Prime Minister’s deal being accepted by Parliament either before or after