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In normal circumstances, parliamentary democracy serves our country well, but in the past two and a bit years, I have been ashamed of the behaviour of this Parliament—a Parliament in which, as academic analysis by the Library points out, 409 out of the 650 constituencies had leave majorities. That was on an 80% turnout—far higher than any turnout we are elected on at a general election.
Over the past two and a bit years, we have a Parliament that thinks it knows better than the public who this Parliament explicitly gave the decision to. We have a Parliament that thinks it is acceptable to use representative democracy to defeat direct democracy—a direct democracy explicitly agreed and voted for by this Parliament. We have a Parliament that has totally failed to work across party lines to find an acceptable way forward, and we have a Parliament that is very good at saying no but is bereft of ideas to come up with anything better. We also have a Parliament where an increasing number of MPs who were elected for one party, often with significant majorities, then declare for another without any agreement from their constituents.
If we value our democracy and everyone who took part in the referendum, we must honour the result and everyone who voted, all of whom were told that the result would be respected. Democracy requires that the losers accept the result. We should honour the referendum by returning powers over our money, laws, borders and trade in a way that is orderly and supports jobs. I want to see our negotiations turbo-charged. We need a Government with a mandate and a new Parliament that will actually vote for something for a change—a new Parliament that will work in the national interest for a good deal that respects the referendum result.