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My Lords, I voted in the referendum to remain. I still believe we should have remained, but I have argued consistently that the referendum was a democratic vote and that, therefore, we must respect the outcome. I take the view that, overall, we are lacking in confidence rather than beginning another debate. The country has the capacity to plot its own future and to build its own history.
I ask myself, am I the only person who did not understand the problems of the referendum that would need to be addressed? We are now faced with an outcome of uncertainty that we have created ourselves. That represents a challenge, which we must face up to. Yes, of course we want to maintain a good relationship with our neighbours—as well as our trading, our security and all that goes with stability on the continent of which we are a part. But at the end of the day, we are a country with a long history and a proud history. On that we should build confidence, not just for this generation but for the generations to come.
We have a democratic structure, which gives us the opportunity to change course and change our minds when we feel it is in the interests of the country to do so. All we lack is the confidence—and indeed the purpose—to make a difference to our future.