Second Referendum

Thank you for contacting me about the ‘Beckett amendment’ which puts forward proposals for a confirmatory public vote on any EU withdrawal agreement.

I will not support another referendum, in this or any other guise, for the following reasons;

* I promised to respect the outcome of the last referendum on EU membership, which voted leave nationally and in West Worcestershire.

* The General Election of 2017 endorsed the result of the referendum, with both Labour and Conservatives pledging to respect the result.

* The Liberal Democrats offered a confirmatory referendum, and received 7.4% of the vote in 2017.

* We have seen how referenda clash too strongly with our representative Parliamentary democracy.

* It is unclear what question would be asked. A referendum needs legislation and Parliament would want to have Leave as one of the options. The Beckett amendment is silent on this.

* The result could be Leave once more, and many people would then presumably be calling for a third referendum.

* The only valid route to another referendum is to win a majority in Parliament with a pledge to hold one.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me on this important issue.