EU Referendum & Overturn Case

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Bim Afolami: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for introducing this very important debate. I speak as somebody whose constituency voted to remain; I myself also voted to remain. Can he address one point? He has mentioned, rightly, that in legal terms, the referendum was advisory and not legally binding. Therefore, the nexus between the triggering of article 50 and the referendum is weaker than if the referendum had been legally binding. Does that not weaken the case for the referendum result to be overturned or for article 50 to be rescinded, because Parliament is making an even more independent judgment than would otherwise have been the case?

Daniel Zeichner: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. As I rather thought, almost immediately we start getting pulled into the legal arguments. His point is a reasonable one, but of course there are arguments back and forth, and many of these things remain to be tested in court, as is so often the case. However, he might make that case.

The point that I am making, and this is a theme that I will return to throughout my speech, is that the law is for the lawyers, but a lot of these judgments will ultimately be political judgments, which need to be made in this place. We can make a choice, on the basis of what we have seen in the referendum, as to whether or not we think the referendum should be run again—it is up to us to do so.

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