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Early Parliamentary General Election Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:55 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Anne Main Anne Main Conservative, St Albans 3:55 pm, 29th October 2019

Can I just answer the previous intervention before I take any more?

If it is somehow politically expedient for some people to vote tonight for an election, I would say that they are putting their own considerations before those of the country. This should not be about us. This should not be about us looking at poll ratings and saying, “Does it suit me and my campaign to go to the country now?” This should be about us remembering what we said in 2016 or—as I said in my intervention on the Liberal Democrats—remembering what we tempted the public with in 2008. I will stand corrected if I am wrong, but I do not believe that any party ever said, “We will offer you a referendum, but if we don’t like the result we will frustrate it and campaign against it to try to get a different one”, or worse, “We will ignore the result.”

I am waiting for the “Ooh!” and the jumping up and down from the Scot Nats when I say this, but I believe that they are hoping against hope that they can have a referendum and—hopefully, according to their agenda—deliver an independent Scotland. I hope that before this House grants any such independence referendum, they will have a full deal to put on the table, very much like they are saying we should do on the European Union. I hope that they would first have an answer on the fisheries policy, the euro, the border and all the other hard concerns they have about the Northern Ireland question. The reality is that a referendum is never formed in those terms. The previous one was not, and a future one would not be. The reality is that we asked the question: in or out? [Interruption.]