Early Parliamentary General Election

Part of Deferred Divisions – in the House of Commons at 8:56 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Bernard Jenkin Bernard Jenkin Chair, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee 8:56 pm, 4th September 2019

I think every Member in this House respects the passion and bravery of Caroline Lucas, but will she at least recognise the irony that she is calling for the revitalisation of democracy at the same time as speaking against renewing the representative mandate of this House? I would invite the House to consider—[Interruption.] I am going to be very brief. The irony also extends to those crying for a people’s vote who will vote against the people having a vote about the future of this House.

The British public have watched this House of Commons decline into almost a zombie Parliament—one that is incapable of deciding anything and is still dominated by remain thinking and remain attitudes even though the British people clearly voted leave in the referendum. Yesterday, I spoke about the problem of us having created conflicting representative and direct mandates. The legitimacy of this House was unquestionably as a House of representatives, but we qualified that as we introduced the concept of referendums into our constitution. The representative mandate is unalterably qualified by the fact that we had a referendum and said that we would implement the result.

However, this House has failed to implement that result. We therefore must ask ourselves: how is that going to be resolved? It will not be resolved by continuing to put off decisions, yet the Bill, which so many of the remain-supporting Members of this House are so pleased with, does no more than invite the European Union to put off its decisions. What is going to be gained by putting off decisions again? What kind of respect will this House gain by putting off decisions at the same time as avoiding a general election, which would make us accountable to our electors?