Uk’S Withdrawal from the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:04 pm on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:04 pm, 13th March 2019

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Once again, I am grateful that you are in the Chair.

The Labour party is now committed to a second referendum, but many of its leading spokespeople have made clear what they thought of a second referendum in the past. The shadow Education Secretary said that it would be a mistake and would show disdain for democracy. Indeed, the shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, when asked about a second referendum, said, “No, we don’t think that’s right. If we went for a second referendum we would be saying to people, ‘We think you’re stupid. We think you made the wrong decision. We’re going to do something else.’” Now that she embraces a second referendum, I am afraid that having once sneered at the flag of St George, she now confirms that she wants to tell the British people that they are, in her view, wrong and stupid. That may be a view popular in Islington South, but it is not the view of the Government, who are determined to honour the votes of the British people and who will not dismiss their sovereign decision as either wrong or stupid.