Duties in connection with the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole 6:15 pm, 4th September 2019


We have had this perverse alliance of people who never wanted us to leave the European Union—remainers—voting with the minority of people on the Conservative Benches who actively want us to have a no-deal Brexit. They have trotted through the Lobby together, while people like me who came into this House in 2010 are absolutely determined to get us out of the European Union. We have done exactly what was asked of us and what is being demanded of us now. We have compromised. We have looked at that withdrawal agreement and said, “You know what, it is not perfect, but I respect the promise that I made to my constituents.” I respect the minority of my constituents who also voted remain and therefore expect me to represent them as well, which is why I have compromised and voted for that deal on three occasions. I have voted for a Norway option and an European Free Trade Association option on four other occasions, and the same people who lecture us repeatedly about how we need to compromise to get us across the line are the very same people—not all of them, but many of them—who trotted through the Lobby to kill that deal on three occasions and to kill the indicative votes on those four occasions.

I have to ask this question: when did it become the case that people who campaigned for remain could tell people who voted leave what it is that they voted for? When did it become acceptable for them to say, “No, no, no! These leave voters, whom I do not fully understand because I was on the wrong side of the debate and on the wrong side of my constituents, did not vote for no deal.”

Last night, I received an email from a constituent called Kirsty. She posted this question to me. She said, “Why do these people who got the referendum result wrong, were on the wrong side, get to say why I voted?” She said, “I know why I voted leave and I am prepared to have a no deal.” She signed off as Kirsty, under 40, not a racist and quite well educated. All we have heard throughout is that if someone wants a no-deal outcome then obviously they are just a stupid, thick, racist northerner. People have seen this, and we are sick of it. I will not support any amendment that allows a further extension, because my constituents and I know what is going on here. Those colleagues are playing it long, playing for time and saying that they respect the result when they have no intention of doing so. They did not respect the result in March or April of this year, and they are not going to on 31 October. You can sure as damn tell it, Dame Eleanor, they ain’t going to on 31 January either.