27 MAR 2019

Eu: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Motions)

Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons), Chair, Liaison Committee

My hon. Friend is making a very powerful case for this being the least damaging form of Brexit. The trouble is that it will end up pleasing no one: neither the remainers who voted to remain, nor a very significant number of his colleagues who voted to leave. Would it not be best, if it does not have the consent of this House, at least to check that it has the consent of the people? Would he agree to link it to a public vote, so that we can check that it really is the will of the people?

Nicholas Boles Conservative, Grantham and Stamford

The hon. Lady makes a powerful argument, as she has done consistently. The funny thing about this position is what happened in Norway. It was meant to be temporary for Norway. It went into this thing on its way into the EU. All the Norwegian elite—both sides of Parliament, all the business elite and everybody else—want to get into the EU, but the Norwegian people consistently say, "No, thank you very much, we are quite happy where we are." Some 65% to 70% of the Norwegian people say, "Do you know what? This halfway house is absolutely perfect for us." My prediction is that that is what the British people would conclude, too.

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