The people have spoken and we must listen

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By a clear majority, people in my constituency and in the country as whole have voted to leave the EU. MPs on all sides of the debate must honour that outcome.

As I made clear during the referendum campaign, I supported a vote to Remain because I did not believe that the case for leaving was strong enough and I was concerned about the risk it posed to our rights at work, to jobs and growth, and to our security. Since the vote, we have seen a negative impact on the value of the pound, a fall in stock markets, reports of jobs and investment already being lost, and reports of an increase in racist abuse. 

These are incredibly turbulent and volatile times and they call for strong and calm leadership from politicians of all parties.

I respect the vote of people here in the borough of Rochdale who voted by a majority to leave the EU. As the process of renegotiation with the EU begins - once the Conservatives have selected a new leader - I will be focused on doing everything possible to get the best deal for Britain and the best deal for people here in Heywood and Middleton.

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commented 2016-06-29 23:51:47 +0100
I am against governments holding new votes/referendums until they get the answer they want. BUT in the case of the EU referendum – and also the one for Scottish independence – I felt strongly that such huge decisions should never have been decided on a simple majority on a single vote. They are so huge. With a simple majority on a single vote the whole future of a country, for which many in the past have sacrificed so much, can be decided on the whim or mood of a single moment by people who have given nothing. That is not how I see democracy. I always felt that ideally both issues should be decided on 3 votes, at least 2 years apart, ie covering 4 years, or even 6. If they have to be decided on one vote, then there needs to be a much higher percentage.

I spoke to a GP the other day: he said that never in his life had he seen so many patients so traumatized by a political event as this Brexit vote. Not only Remain voters, deeply disillusioned and shocked, but also Leave voters saying they had not realized what they were actually doing and what the results would be.

I understand the noble priority to accept the people’s vote, but I really wonder if the result of a vote one month from now would be anywhere near the same as the one we’ve just had. The consequences of Brexit will be enormous. People just thought that everyone was lying to them about the consequences of a leave, that it wouldn’t have any real effect at all. Some are just beginning to realize that they were not. It’s going to be huge.

Such a vital issue should never have been decided like this, and it is the poor who will suffer. What, what, what can we do?

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