Leaving the European Union — [James Gray in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:52 pm on 1st April 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Catherine McKinnell Catherine McKinnell Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne North 4:52 pm, 1st April 2019

Those concerns are being expressed by many members of the public as they watch the reality of the 2016 referendum campaign and vote unravel. As we get closer and closer to 12 April, I have been making it clear to my constituents that I am prepared to support the revocation of article 50 if necessary, to prevent our country from leaving the EU without a deal.

It is because I am as patriotic, and care as passionately about the future of my city, my region and my country, as anyone that I cannot stand back and watch us crash out of the EU in that way. Allowing such a scenario would be a dereliction of my duty as a Member of Parliament, which is clearly set out as that of acting in the interests of the nation as a whole, with a special duty to my constituents. It would be contrary to the responsibilities of Members of the House as set out by Edmund Burke as far back as 1774:

“Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement;
and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

And, indeed, contrary to the guidance of Sir Winston Churchill:

“The first duty of a Member of Parliament is to do what he thinks in his faithful and disinterested judgement is right and necessary for the honour and safety of Great Britain.”

Those duties weigh heavily on us all, and they are responsibilities that I take very seriously.