London Evening Standard: Penrose tells House, ‘Brexit must mean Brexit’

A debate on whether to hold a second EU referendum sparked angry clashes among MPs amid claims a fresh vote would “fly in the face of democracy”.

Politicians spoke in Westminster Hall tonight for three hours tonight after more than 4 million people signed a petition calling for a re-run on Britain’s historic Brexit vote.

But any hopes of a fresh referendum were dashed when Brexit Secretary David Davis told the Commons there would be “no attempt to stay in the EU by the back door”.

Mr Davis ruled out a bid to “engineer” a second vote “because some people didn’t like the first answer”.

Tory colleagues warned a second referendum would be “corrosive” and “dangerous” during a fiery debate in central London.

John Penrose said: “Brexit must mean Brexit and it is up to every red-blooded democrat, no matter which side they were on before the result was known, to accept the clear electoral verdict and to pull together to deliver it as best we can.”

SNP MP Ian Blackford described the vote in June was “flawed” because of a lack of detail on the issues and the exclusion of 16 and 17-year-olds from the ballot.

He added the views of the Scottish people should not be ignored after the country voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union.

He said: “Brexiteers wanted out of Europe but they did not have a plan for the day after or the days after that.”

Tottenham MP David Lammy, who called for the Commons to override the vote and stage a fresh referendum, added: “I think we’ve all got to concede that two and a half months down the line we don’t actually know what Brexit means in reality.”

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas said the prospect of a second vote should not be ruled out when the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU were revealed.

But other MPs said any new referendum would “disrespect” the British people.

Brexit minister Robin Walker said at the closing stages of the debate: “This was a once in a generation vote and that decision must be respected.”

He added a second referendum would “fly in the face of democracy”.

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