Anne Main seeks clarification from the Opposition on whether they would implement any deal that they put to a referendum

15th October 2019

Anne Main seeks clarification from the Opposition that, if they form the next Government and their proposed referendum delivered a win for leaving the EU, whether they would implement that result even if they disagreed with it.

I am sorry for missing the very beginning of the debate, but I had a meeting with the aviation Minister.

I want to go back to the right hon. and learned Gentleman’s point about the proposed deal being very bad for workers’ rights and so on. I completely accept that that is Labour’s point of view and that the Labour party thinks there should be a referendum on the deal. If it were put to a referendum and the public voted for the deal—even though Labour Members feel that it is not the deal they would like—and then there were to be a Labour Government, would they implement that deal? There will be a huge amount of legislation with any deal, and it is important to know that a Labour Government would deliver the deal even if they disagreed with it.

Let me be clear about my position. If we go down the road of having a referendum, I think that it must be between a negotiated deal and remain. When I say “negotiated deal”, I mean one that the EU would actually sign off, because I do not think it is fair to people to offer an option to leave that is not a proper option. I would go further. I would advocate that this House actually passed the implementation legislation, subject to a coming-into-force date or something like that, to show that it could be done straightaway. We would have to show that the deal had been secured with the EU and could therefore be delivered, and also that we had already put in place the means to deliver it in this place so that we could actually resolve this situation—one way or the other—within a short period of time. I now think that that is the only way to break the impasse.




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