Sir Oliver Letiwn launched a passionate attack, mainly directed at former SNP leader Alex Salmond and Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, over the planned amendments to the Brexit Bill.
The member for West Dorset, despite initially backing remain and voting that way, wholeheartedly threw his support behind the Government.
He took his opponents to task in an emotionally charged speech, saying: “We also committed to a referendum and the point of committing to a referendum . . . was that if the British people vote to leave we would leave.
“Now it seems to be perfectly clear the word leave means leave it does not mean remain."
He launched at attack directed at former SNP leader Alex Salmond and Lib Dem leader Tim Farron
Referring to Mr Salmond and Mr Farron, leader of the Lib Dems, saying: “[They’re arguing] is that leave ought to be translated as remain. I deny that this is a translation that fits the English language as susceptible.
“It seems to me perfectly clear that those of us who campaigned to leave and those of us who campaigned to remain have a choice; we can either accept the referendum result or we can reject it.
“I accept it.”
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He started his speech by saying: “I voted to remain, I campaigned to remain, but the fact is the British people voted to leave.”
And referencing the proposed amendments, including the ‘reset’ clause, he continued: “But everybody who is arguing that [remain] should come out as he did [Mr Farron] openly to that effect, and not pretend they are trying to invent some method of parliamentary scrutiny they’re doing nothing of the kind.
“They are trying to invent a means of undoing the result of the referendum.
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He initially backed Remain and voted that way
“This house has actually voted conclusively not to undo the result of the referendum, I think the house was right to do that, but whether it was right or not it should do that with its eyes open and should beguiled by anybody into passing amendments which have an effect that it is not signed up to openly.”
Respecting democracy, he preceded his fiery jibes across the Commons by saying: “It was perfectly clear that what it said about the single market was to be superseded were there a referendum by a result which we didn’t anticipate, the British people would take us out of the EU as a whole. And, I regret that.
“What is actually going on here is we’ve reached the crunch issue. We’ve reached the point at which we’re discussing whether the effect of the Supreme Court judgement should be that parliament has the option at some date in the future of overruling the British people and cancelling the leaving of the EU. Or whether it should not have that ability
“My Right Honourable Friend the minister has made clear there will be a vote, but the vote that there is to be he has also made it perfectly clear is a vote between, the option of accepting a particular set of arrangements that have been negotiated by Her Majesty’s Government, and not accepting those arrangements and thereby leaving the EU without either in the one case, a withdrawal agreement or in the other case an arrangement for the future.
“I think in being optimistic we can reach an agreement but neither of us can possibly know we will.”
Channelling Shakespeare, he underlined his points by continually repeating the issue was still somehow focussed on whether ‘to leave or not to leave’.
He took his opponents to task in an emotionally charged speech
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The word leave means leave it does not mean remain
Sir Oliver Letiwn
Mr Letwin said: “And it’s therefore right if one is trying to follow the logic of the referendum decision that the judgement of this house should simply be about whether the deal is good enough to warrant doing the deal or whether on the contrary we should leave without a deal.
“Which is a completely different proposition from the proposition which in various guises…some are putting which is the proposition parliament instead, by one means or another be given the ability to countermand the British people’s decision to leave the EU by having a vote on whether either we should leave or shouldn’t leave or in the proposition of the leader of the Liberal Democrats, whether the people should have a second referendum on whether we should leave or not leave.
He has wholeheartedly thrown his support behind the Government
“Either of those propositions is a clear determination to undo the effect of the referendum, and we’ve now reached the point where that has come out into the open.”
The MPs are debating the Brexit Bill in the Commons for the second day running.
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