European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:39 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Labour, Don Valley 4:39 pm, 4th September 2019

I absolutely agree. One of my greatest concerns in all this is that, following a referendum that saw such a massive record turnout, there are many people who will never vote again if we continue to thwart a conclusion, and that will damage our democracy for decades to come. I am saddened that some in this House think that our only obligation is to the 48% and that others think we only need to consider the 52%. We need to respect the British people, whether they voted leave or remain and whichever party they support. We must show them that we can move forward and not simply block progress at every stage.

I want to look my leave voters in the eye and say, “Yes, I respected, as a remain voter, the decision to leave. We have now left. We will regain control of our laws and borders.” To remain supporters, whom I stood alongside in 2016, I want to say, “Yes, we respected the decision to leave, but we have successfully protected the things that you and I value most: open trade with the EU, workers’ rights, high environmental standards, rights for Brits abroad, respect for EU citizens working here, student exchange programmes, joint research projects”—I could go on. All of that can be secured, but only with a deal.

No deal is a decision, but one that defers 100 decisions. I urge the Government to secure a deal before 31 October, and I am willing to work every day and every hour to make that happen. However, other colleagues must also show some compromise as well. We must link an extension to securing a deal, because an extension with no purpose is not the way forward.