Leaving the European Union — [David Hanson in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:48 pm on 4th February 2019.

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Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 4:48 pm, 4th February 2019

I do not agree. In the 2017 general election, many other elements played their part. For the people, it was not clear what leaving the European Union would mean or what the Brexit deal on the table would be, and we knew nothing about the backstop. We now know what that all looks like.

I truly trust in people and I believe that when I put things in front of them, with the honest options on the table—outside the heat of the media and the competition of political parties—they will make good decisions. That is why, by the way, I am very much in favour of citizens’ assemblies. If we get to the point of extending article 50—I believe that we must because we are simply running out of time—we should precede that with several citizens’ assemblies where we put the options to focus groups and where people can discuss the options honestly.

I have said time and again that I believe that people will make very good decisions. I trust in them and, if they confirm their former opinions—whether that is a no-deal Brexit or the Prime Minister’s Brexit—and there is a majority of more than 50% for a specific Brexit deal, I will accept it. That is a final say. We have always said that the people must have the final say and that we must give it to them.