Debates between Margaret Beckett and Nick Boles

There have been 1 exchanges between Margaret Beckett and Nick Boles

1 Mon 1st April 2019 EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Motions)
Department for Exiting the European Union
7 interactions (533 words)

EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Motions)

Debate between Margaret Beckett and Nick Boles
Monday 1st April 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Exiting the European Union
Margaret Beckett Portrait Margaret Beckett - Parliament Live - Hansard
1 Apr 2019, 4:50 p.m.

I am happy to agree with my hon. Friend about that, but I hope it cuts both ways. I heard the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Nick Boles) say, “Of course, those who want a second referendum can come back to this some other time in legislation when all of this is done,” but it must be a two-way street.

Nick Boles Parliament Live - Hansard

Will the right hon. Lady give way?

Margaret Beckett Portrait Margaret Beckett - Parliament Live - Hansard
1 Apr 2019, 4:50 p.m.

I am sorry, but I really must go on.

Nick Boles Hansard

She has referred to me.

Margaret Beckett Portrait Margaret Beckett - Hansard
1 Apr 2019, 4:50 p.m.

I did; all right.

Nick Boles Hansard

I will be brief. I just want to reassure the right hon. Lady of one thing. Last Wednesday I abstained on her motion, and I will abstain on it again tonight, as a gesture of good will towards it.

Margaret Beckett Portrait Margaret Beckett - Hansard
1 Apr 2019, 6:32 p.m.

I am duly grateful to the hon. Gentleman.

What is most often heard in these discussions is the argument that to hold a confirmatory vote would be not only wrong but undemocratic, which is the point that the hon. Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison) was trying to address. That argument is advanced both by those who believe that the view of the people has not changed and that they will still vote to leave—and, according to Mr Farage, by a bigger margin—and by those who fear that their view might have changed and who resist holding such a vote for that very reason. It seems to me that there is something mutually contradictory in those arguments.

We have heard a great deal about the resentment that would be felt by those who voted to leave, but I again ask Members to carefully consider the position in which this House would place itself if it is the case—I do not know one way or the other—that the British people do not now wish to leave the European Union. We are being invited to vote to take the UK out of the European Union even if it is now against the wishes of the British people, and to do so while refusing to give them the opportunity even to express such wishes. I fear we may find such a refusal difficult to defend, especially if the basis of our decision ends up being the Prime Minister’s deal, which will itself have been presented to this Parliament for decision more than once.

There is another dangerous argument being advanced: that we should leave, and if we do not like it, we can always rejoin. This House knows that if we leave, we lose the special opt-outs on the euro and Schengen that successive Governments have negotiated. Rejoining would put us in a very different place from remaining with the concessions that we have now.

I accept that, in a variety of ways, the alternatives proposed on today’s Order Paper by the Father of the House and others offer advantages over the Prime Minister’s proposal. I could live with any of them apart from the option of no deal, but I repeat: none of them was before the British people three years ago, and for that reason, if for no other, they should be asked for their view on the reality that is before them, rather than the fantasies they were spun in 2016.