Eu: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Motions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole 5:15 pm, 27th March 2019

I plan to be uncompromising in my opposition to motions (M) and (L), and then, without a hint of hypocrisy, argue for compromise for where we end up.

We have heard a lot recently about marches. The only march that I am interested in is the march of my constituents to vote in the 2016 referendum, as they were asked to do by this Parliament, and to decide for a final time whether we should remain members of the European Union. We were promised by both sides of the campaign that the decision of the people would be implemented—that is what both the remain and the leave sides said.

The remain side spent the whole campaign telling voters how terribly complex and difficult leaving the European Union was going to be, and yet people still went out to vote, many for the first time in my constituency. I had people stopping me on referendum day, saying, “How do I vote? Where do I go? I want to express my opinion on this question, which Parliament has told me is mine to make and will be implemented.” Now, just because some Members do not like the decision—or, rather, because we have messed up the whole process of leaving—it is completely unacceptable to turn around, go back to those people and say, “We’ve made such a terrible mess of it that we’re going to go back on all of those promises.”

I am appalled at the way in which many of my voters—70% of them went out and voted leave—have been belittled and besmirched since they took the decision they were asked to make. Their age has been made an issue; how, in a democracy, can age be an issue as to how valuable someone’s vote is? Their educational standards have been made an issue—apparently, whether someone has a degree or not places some sort of value on their vote. They have been told that they live in the wrong part of the country and that they have views that they do not have—people have told them why it is that they took the democratic decision that they had every right to take and that they were promised by this House and by both sides of the campaign would be implemented.