Article 50

November 2016

Many constituents have been in touch with me about the EU Referendum and the recent High Court decision.

I suspect that there will be quite a few legal challenges on the Brexit process and the details of the deal, but the one thing that can not be in doubt is the actual decision made by the British public to leave the European Union.

Before, during and after the referendum the government, the main political parties and most MPs (including myself) all committed to making the referendum binding. The previous Prime Minister, David Cameron stated again and again that the referendum was a simple In/ Out decision and that the instructions of the British people would then be enacted by the government. We can not and should not go back on this commitment.

The latest High Court decision does not change the decision or the result of the referendum. It does, however, add a step in the process that some of us were not expecting of there being a vote in parliament to trigger article 50. If the government appeals the High Court decision and wins then there may not need to be a parliamentary vote. If the government chooses not to appeal, or loses the appeal then there will be a vote in parliament.

Given my own commitment to my constituents to respect the result of the referendum - no matter which way it went - I will therefore vote in favour of triggering article 50 if there is a vote in parliament. To do otherwise would be breaking the commitment I made of respecting the result. I expect the vast majority of my colleagues will do the same, even though most MPs campaigned for and voted to remain in the EU.

The Institute of Government has published a paper on this issue which explains exactly what has happened in the High Court and its effect, which you will see could cause a delay, rather than a reversal of the Referendum result. You can access the document here: