I write as someone who campaigned for, and voted for, Remain.

However, Parliament gave the British people the final say on the UK's membership of the EU and that result must be respected.  Therefore I do not support the calls for another referendum.

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. Amid all this, it was made clear by both sides in the campaign that leaving the EU meant leaving the single market and customs union.

As in every election, it was up to the electorate to judge the merits of the different arguments and over 17.4 million 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, including leaving the single market and customs union, 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 majority of issues that needed to be tackled as part of any new agreement have been settled. The exit negotiations are well under way and I am confident that an agreement can be reached to the mutual benefit of the both the UK and the EU. MPs will vote on any deal when it comes to Parliament.

Politicians are criticised enough for not keeping promises. It is therefore important that the government do what they have pledged to do and leave the EU. While there are clearly many who would like to see the result reversed, and would welcome another referendum, I cannot support that view.

It's also worth bearing in mind that the EU membership we had is no longer on offer. Having given our notice, the EU would be likely to exact very different conditions on either a request to revoke Article 50, or, after March 2019, our re-joining.  This could include an end to our opt-outs, possible membership of the euro, and much higher contributions to the EU budget – without our rebate. There is therefore no real option to remain, but only to go back in on different, less favourable terms.

This must be borne in mind alongside the general loss of faith in politicians and the reputation in our democracy that would come from holding another referendum, and the divisive nature of any such vote.

Ultimately, we must respect the result of the referendum, and work to deliver the best outcome we can.

Brexit may be imperfect, but I believe we, as MPs, have a responsibility to honour the referendum result and work to get the best possible outcome we can.


Contact Dr Dan Poulter

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Dr Dan's work in Parliament

Upcoming Business – Commons: Main Chamber (11 Dec 2018)
Private parking enforcement at commercial ports and trading estates – Daniel Poulter. Adjournment debate

Written Answers — Department of Health and Social Care: General Practitioners: Recruitment (7 Dec 2018)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase the number of full-time equivalent GPs in England; and will he make a statement.