Eu: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Motions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of Kate Hoey Kate Hoey Labour, Vauxhall 5:30 pm, 27th March 2019

My hon. Friend is quite right. On that basis, we would have to have general elections practically every month. Some people might change their minds the day after they voted. We cannot go down the road.

I have a big remain constituency, but I have made very clear from day one—and I shall have been in this place for 30 years in June—that I want us to get out of the EU. Everyone has known my views, so I have no apology to make for campaigning to leave. A constituent wrote to me saying that he had thought that the manifestos of the Labour party and Conservative party—the two main parties—had said, “We will implement the result of the referendum.” There is nothing difficult about the word “leave”. It is very simple. Members have deliberately made it difficult here.

My constituent wrote:

“Can we the electorate now expect that anything promised in a manifesto is to be honoured, that it should be written into law, that, if you promise a course of action, you must follow through and make it happen.”

Why, he asked, do party leaders order three-line whips so that what they promised in the manifesto can be reneged on?

I think that we are in a very dangerous situation in the House. We are trying to thwart the will of the people, but democracy cannot be compromised. Outside, there is huge anger. We may not see it here in London, particularly in areas where there was a large remain vote, but there is huge anger elsewhere, and it is growing. We have backed ourselves into a hole, and now the only way out is for us either to leave with a World Trade Organisation agreement, or to find a way in which the withdrawal agreement can be changed so that we can accept it—and that means that there must be a change in the backstop.

Nearly all the motions involve compromise. I make no apology for saying that I do not think we should be compromising with the electorate. I mean no criticism of you, Mr Speaker, but it is very unfortunate that motion (E) was not selected, because it is the one motion that we could all have gone along with, if we believed in the referendum result. Anyone who votes to revoke tonight is actually saying, “We do not accept that result— we never did, and we never will.” I hope that that motion will be turned down.