Triggering Article 50

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about the upcoming votes on the triggering of Article 50. 

Leaving the European Union is the most important process this country has undertaken in a generation, and I appreciate some people are, and will remain, opposed to the UK leaving the EU.  However, the campaign was fought, the vote was held, turnout was high, and the public gave its verdict in a free and fair referendum.  It is now the duty of MPs to give effect to that historic decision.

I am not alone in taking this point of view.  On the night of the referendum, Lord Ashdown said:

“It is our duty as those who serve the public to make sure the country does the best it can with the decision they have taken. In. Out. When the British people have spoken you do what they command.”

I also invite you to consider the words of Sir Keir Starmer, the Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, during the House of Commons debate on this matter:

“We in the Labour party are, above all, democrats. Had the outcome been to remain, we would have expected the result to be honoured, and that cuts both ways. A decision was made on 23 June last year to leave the EU.”

These seem to me to be sensible words that reflect the result of the referendum, and urge everyone, whatever their viewpoint, to get behind the referendum result, with positivity and generosity of spirit, for the good of the nation.

There are no democratic grounds on which Parliament could block the UK’s exit from the EU, and were it to do so, the damage to our democracy - Parliament having granted the decision to the people at large - would be immense, and perhaps irreparable.

People voted differently all over the country.  Parts of the country voted to remain and parts of the country voted to leave.  What we must do now is unite behind the result of the referendum and work together to make a success of this unique opportunity.  We must come together to build a more open, democratic, and global Britain.

However, I am committed to ensuring that all my constituents’ concerns are fully considered throughout this process, regardless of how they voted in June.  I spend my time in the constituency listening to businesses, charities, and those in the public sector as much as I can to ensure that I understand the challenges faced in each sector, to best place myself to delivering the best result for the people of West Oxfordshire.  This is what I am determined to achieve: we must look to the future, and embrace the positives. I shall be doing so, and I hope that you will join me in doing so too.

Robert Courts MP