*Cabinet minister told MPs the public had delivered its ‘instructions’
*Labour and Tories figures have demanded that MPs should have a vote
*It would allow the pro-Remain majority in the Commons to delay Brexit
*Six in 10 Britons believe the economy will do well over the next year
David Davis last night flatly rejected ‘anti-democratic’ demands for a second EU referendum or for MPs to hold a vote allowing them to block the referendum result.
The Cabinet minister for Brexit told MPs the public had delivered its ‘instructions’ to Parliament and pro-Remain MPs must get over it.
A string of senior Labour MPs, along with some senior Tories such as former education secretary Nicky Morgan, have demanded that MPs should have a vote to ratify Brexit.
This would allow the pro-Remain majority in the Commons to delay or even block Brexit.
But David Davis last night flatly rejected ‘anti-democratic’ demands for a second EU referendum or for MPs to hold a vote allowing them to block the referendum result.
He said it amounted to an attempt to deny the wishes of more than 17million Brexit voters, adding: ‘Up with that we will not put.’
His comments – the strongest by any minister – came as MPs debated a public petition urging a new referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.
The internet petition – which was given extensive coverage by the BBC in the days immediately after the vote to leave the EU on June 23 – attracted four million signatures.
Labour MP David Lammy said the public had been ‘lied to’ and a further vote on the Brexit deal was the only way out of the ‘constitutional crisis’.
But ex-Tory minister John Penrose said any attempt to bypass the Leave vote would be ‘corrosive’ to public trust. He added: ‘We have been given our marching orders. Brexit must mean Brexit. It is up to every red-blooded democrat to accept the verdict... and pull together to deliver it.’
During lengthy discussions on Brexit at Westminster, Michael Gove, the sacked justice secretary and leading Brexit campaigner, said there had been ‘a record increase’ in the service and manufacturing industries, which shows that all those who voted to leave the EU ‘know a darn sight more about economics than the soi-disant experts’.
Former Cabinet minister Peter Lilley urged the Government to get Britain out as soon as possible. He said that the two-year notice period which is triggered by the UK invoking Article 50 was a maximum period of time – and it could leave far earlier if it wanted. Mr Davis said that Britain was not seeking to delay Brexit or frustrate the wishes of the public, but extricating the UK from EU law was proving a ‘complex problem’.
Brexit was about ‘getting the best deal’ with something that is unique rather than an ‘off-the-shelf solution’. Mr Davis also said withdrawal from the EU is not about ‘making the best of a bad job’ and pledged to secure a ‘national consensus’.
Stressing his determination to deliver Brexit as soon as possible, he said his desire to return to the backbenches is ‘overwhelming’ and he wants to close down his department as soon as he can.
But Pro-EU MPs said Mr Davis had not given enough detail in his statement on how Brexit would work. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: ‘David Davis told us nothing. He read out a few dates in his diary, but anyone looking for Britain’s post-Brexit strategy would have looked in vain. No trade deals, no allies, no plan.’
Yesterday, a poll for BBC Radio 5 live, conducted by the polling firm ComRes, suggested that 62 per cent of the 1,032 British adults canvassed are positive about Britain’s future post-Brexit.
A separate survey for former Tory Party treasurer Lord Ashcroft found that six in ten of the British public believe the economy will do well over the next year, despite drastic warnings of a recession if Britain left the EU.
Some 29 per cent of voters who backed Britain staying in the EU are confident the UK is on the right track despite the referendum result going against them.