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 am not going to give way, because I want to stick to the five-minute limit.

It would be appalling to go back and hold a second referendum. A constituent contacted me the other day and said, “Why is it, in this matter of the European Union, that remain has to win only once but leave has to win twice for our decision to be implemented?” What am I meant to say to them? Yes, the issue is complicated and difficult. Some people in this place may even have deliberately made it more complicated than it needed to be so that they could be proven right. Certainly, there has been incompetence that has made it more difficult than it should have been, and I will not say where that incompetence has necessarily come from. It would be appalling to go back to constituents.

I also think it would unleash something pretty dangerous. I am saddened by how certain elements at the extremes of the political sphere have tried to take hold of the issue for their own particular, disgusting brand of politics, which I want nothing to do with. There is no doubt that those people would play a bigger role in a second referendum. It would divide the country, but for what purpose? Current polling shows that it might reverse the result. I think that this is a very dangerous thing that this House should avoid at all costs.

I do not have time to say a great deal about the idea of revocation, which has been suggested by the SNP. I do wonder what its response would have been had it been successful in the Scottish referendum and this House had then decided that it knew better and revoked the result.

Now to the compromise, Mr Speaker. Since I came to this place, my views on Europe have not changed. Some of my colleagues have moved into positions I cannot get my head around, but we need to bring this to a conclusion. We need to do that through a process of compromise. There is a lot in the Prime Minister’s deal I do not like, but I have voted for it and will continue to vote for it. I put my name to the amendments for common market 2.0 and for EFTA. I have concerns about free movement, because some of my constituents clearly have very strong views on that, but this is a way in which we can come together. We can accept the result of the referendum, which was people saying very definitely that they do not like the political institutions of the European Union. There is a way through this, so the House should look very closely at the propositions on common market 2.0 and EFTA. I will be supporting them. I will be voting for every leave option this evening, because I just want to get this damn thing over with and resolved in line with what my constituents voted for in 2016.

My final comment is this. I hope that we will—I have been a big supporter of yours in the Chair, Mr Speaker—have the opportunity to again vote on the Prime Minister’s deal. I do think that this is an important way of trying to bring this to a close.