Early Parliamentary General Election

Part of Deferred Divisions – in the House of Commons at 8:45 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley 8:45 pm, 4th September 2019

I have no doubt that the constituents of Jess Phillips want her working here and representing them. She talked about this being a national crisis and it is a national crisis, but it is a crisis of trust: it is a crisis of trust in politicians, it is a crisis of trust in democracy, because it was this House that decided to give the British public the referendum in 2016. I know the expectation was that the British public would not vote to leave the European Union, but when they listened to all the arguments they decided that they wished to leave.

Following that, we had a general election. The Labour party and the Conservative party both stood on a similar platform on Brexit and that was that we were going to deliver the Brexit that people voted for. I remember the ballot paper. It said, “Do you want to remain in or leave the European Union?” It was a basic binary question. The fact is that 17.4 million people in this country decided that they wished to leave the European Union; the margin was about 1.4 million. And that was the expectation because of the pamphlet that David Cameron ensured got sent to all the households in the United Kingdom, which said on the back, “We will deliver what the British people have voted for.”

That was in 2016. Today we are in September 2019. We should have left on 29 March, but we did not. Then we should have left on 12 April, but we did not. Then the then Prime Minister said, “I cannot contemplate a date beyond 30 June for us leaving,” and we didn’t. Now it is 31 October and we have just given a Third Reading to a Bill that will extend that by another three months—unless of course the European Union decides it wants the period to be greater than three months, because that is something that we will then have to accept.