Response to calls for second referendum and legitimacy of referendum decision

Many constituents have contacted me to request that the UK is given a second referendum on our EU membership or suggesting that Parliament refuses to accept the legitimacy of the result.

I voted for the UK to remain a member of the EU. The majority of the voters delivered a different result and I accept that a referendum is determined by the majority of the people who voted. It was made clear in our manifesto in 2015 that we would hold a referendum and was also made clear that accepting the majority decision would be the outcome. My views on the result are contained in the following link:

http://www.huwmerriman.org.uk/news/eu-referendum-result

I am aware that millions of people have requested another vote. I also understand the argument that less than 50% of the nation voted to Leave. However, as someone who was elected by the ballot box, I have to accept the same mechanism when it gives a different verdict to my own vote. I am not going to be calling for another referendum. If we had one, and it threw up a different result, all of the Leave voters would then demand another chance. My efforts, as your MP, are now focussed on getting the best deal for the UK, and ensuring that the principles which have given us the freedom to work, study and trade in the EU have the best chance of continuing following our departure from the EU. 

 

Having spent 7 years working in a small team who unwound the world's largest bankruptcy at Lehman Brothers, I am reminded that things can often seem more complicated than was first thought but, if everyone works together and is optimistic, a result can be delivered. I recognise the frustration from many constituents about this result but I hope you are assured that, as your MP, I am already focussing on how we retain the rights which I enjoyed as an EU citizen rather than lose that opportunity by spending my time on reopening the result.

In Bexhill and Battle, I decided to do things a little differently and organised, chaired and promoted debates across the constituency rather than telling voters which way to vote. I also visited 25 schools in the last week to explain the referendum, and arguments, to the pupils. I would not have had that opportunity in the schools if I had not approached the debate with balance. I am glad that I had the opportunity to reassure pupils that mums or dads from continental Europe would not have to return home and that we would not be at war with our neighbours if we left. It was sad that children seemed so worried about the outcome. The ability to engage with constituents was a positive one for me and I am assessing how I can engage further with constituents as new domestic and international proposals emerge.