European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:23 pm on 3rd April 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Martin Vickers Martin Vickers Conservative, Cleethorpes 6:23 pm, 3rd April 2019

I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention. Although he is not my neighbour, he is of course welcome to visit Cleethorpes at any time. He will be made most welcome.

I was moving on to talk about a second referendum and the uncertainty and division that it would cause. I ask those Members who think that it would resolve the issue what would happen if a rerun with 16.4 million people voting remain led to them winning on a lower turnout. Would that satisfy the 17.4 million who voted to leave in 2016? Of course not. The uncertainty and division would continue, and we would be battling on for another 20 or 30 years about our future in Europe.

We must remember that the 2016 referendum was, to a great extent, an emotional vote. We had “Project Fear” telling the people that they would be worse off and that taxes would rise within days—hours, even—of a decision. However, the people said, “That’s fine. Let’s look at that.” We did not want to leave because of some potential downturn in our economy; it was a cultural issue. Our history, our structure of government, our Parliament and our judicial processes are all different, and we were having to make more and more changes to our established processes.