People's vote

The people have had a vote.  It took place on 23rd June 2016 and 17.4million people voted to leave the EU.  When a decision of constitutional significance is made, it is vital that democratic processes are followed. That is why Parliament gave the British people the final say on the UK's membership of the EU and why the result must be respected.  The Prime Minister has been clear that a second referendum is "not remotely on the cards". More people voted to leave than for any other issue or party in our country's history. 

The ballot paper presented voters with an unambiguous choice to remain in the EU or to leave. The consequences of either decision were communicated by campaign groups through a variety of print, audio-visual and digital media. The Government also sent a document to every household in the UK on the benefits of staying in the EU. 

The leaflet, which was delivered to every household in the country, under the heading "a once in a generation decision" read:

"This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide."

As the then Prime Minister, David Cameron said in his Chatham House speech on 10th November 2015:

"This is a huge decision for our country, perhaps the biggest we will make in our lifetimes. And it will be the final decision. So to those who suggest that a decision in the referendum to leave would merely produce another stronger renegotiation and then a second referendum in which Britain would stay, I say think again. The renegotiation is happening right now. And the referendum that follows will be a once in a generation choice. An in or out referendum. When the British people speak, their voice will be respected - not ignored. If we vote to leave, then we will leave. There will not be another renegotiation and another referendum."

Whatever your view of the decision, it must be accepted.  The process of implementing the decision in the best possible way must continue, not least to ensure that the British people maintain their faith in the political system to carry out the will of the majority.  
 
As in every election, it was up to the electorate to judge the merits of the different arguments and the majority of voters decided to leave the EU. Both main political parties also pledged in their manifestos at the General Election 2017 to respect the EU referendum result and these parties received over 80 per cent of the vote.
 
MPs from across the political spectrum voted 494 to 122 in favour of invoking Article 50 in 2017. The exit negotiations are now well under way and an agreement will be reached to the mutual benefit of the both the UK and the EU. MPs will vote on the deal when it comes to Parliament.  I was pleased to be in the Chamber of the House of Commons when Royal Assent for the Withdrawal Bill was announced.  This repeals the 1972 European Communities Act and sets a clear date for us leaving the EU.