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EU Debate speech

September 5, 2016

Today I spoke in a debate in Parliament on the EU Referendum, triggered by a petition calling for a second referendum on our membership of the EU that gained over 4 million signatures.

 

You can read my speech in full on my Facebook page, and my comments were also reported by BBC News, The Mirror and Huffington Post

 

I have copied a short section of the speech below:

 

I was listening to the Member for Haltemprice and Howden [Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis] speaking on the floor of the House just before this debate about what Brexit means and what he said was that Brexit means that we will exit the European Union. I think we have all got to concede that two and a half months down the line we don’t know what Brexit actually means in reality, and we are living in uncertain times, and that is why we have this petition on the floor today.

 

We don’t know what form Brexit will take, or when it might happen.

 

We don’t know whether our future lies within the single market or outside of it. 

 

When we talk about “access to the single market” after Brexit, what do we actually mean by that?

 

Of course we will have “access” – even North Korea has access.  

 

The question is on what terms will the UK obtain that access?

 

And at what cost will we obtain that access? 

 

We also don’t know what our trading relationships with the rest of the world will look like.

 

And millions of EU citizens who have made this country their home are living in uncertainty and don’t know what their status is.

 

Many of the 4 million people who signed this petition are understandably very anxious about the future and that is why we are in this Chamber. 

 

There are many who believe that there should be a vote in this House on Brexit when we are much clearer about what the Government plans.

 

There are some who believe that the best way forward is a General Election where political parties can put their positions to the public.

 

And there are others who quite rightly say that we need a second referendum on a plan when we see it.

 

So that is the nature of the debate we are having.

 

There are so many people who seem to believe in sovereignty who want to limit debate and discussion in this House.

 

A lot of people on both sides of the referendum debate would accept that the public were totally misled and lied to during the referendum. 

 

Nobody would accept that there is a clear plan for where we go from here and what to do next, so there is a legitimate argument that whenever this plan is forthcoming for what Brexit will look like, it should be put to the people in a referendum, it should be debated and voted on in Parliament or a General Election should be held on it. 

 

 

 

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David Lammy

From Tottenham. For Tottenham.