Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown tells MPs that people are angry that, after the referendum, a general election and votes triggering article 50 and both the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 and the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, we still have not left the EU.
The people of this country are angry. They will not understand what this debate is all about. The people of this country voted to leave the European Union, and numerous Members on both sides of the House said during the referendum debate that the result would be honoured. We have had a general election in which the two major parties stood on a platform stating the result would be honoured, and my party voted in overwhelming numbers to trigger article 50 and for both the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 and the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. The people of this country will not understand these shenanigans.
I was at the Moreton-in-Marsh show last weekend, and there were angry people, both Brexiteers and remainers, who said, “For goodness’ sake, our businesses are suffering and our jobs are at risk. Just sort out this EU problem. We voted to leave the European Union.”
We are debating the hypothetical situation of whether the Prime Minister might break the law. It is inconceivable that he would break the law, but this Parliament has passed a rotten law. It has asked him to seek an extension on terms that we know not what they are or might be. We could face all sorts of terms in that extension. We could be asked to pay billions of pounds extra. We have no idea, yet this Parliament has mandated the Prime Minister to accept the terms, whatever they are.
The people cannot understand why our democratic Parliament has not sorted out this problem. The longer this whole matter goes on, the more they will hold this Parliament in contempt and the more that Parliament and its Members will lose their reputation for representing this country properly.