Labour MP David Lammy writes: The referendum was advisory and non-binding, in contrast to the referendum on electoral reform in 2011 which imposed a legal obligation on the government to legislate. Almost 500 members of parliament declared themselves in favour of remain, and it is within their powers to stop this madness through a vote in parliament.
It is also within parliament’s powers to call a second referendum, now that the dust has begun to settle and the reality of a post-Brexit nation is coming into view. We need a second referendum at the very least, on the basis of a plan that is yet to even be drawn up.
Since the referendum it has also become apparent that if the UK leaves the European Union the break-up of the union will swiftly follow if Scotland gains independence and Northern Ireland is unified with the Republic of Ireland. Are we ready and willing to dismantle our nation? We weren’t asked this, and it was not a factor widely considered by voters on Thursday.
Of course we must recognise what has happened and address the decades of decline in the regions that voted leave which are the root cause of the backlash we have seen. We need to rebalance our economy and our country by devolving power away from Westminster and bolstering investment and opportunities away from London and the south-east.
Nevertheless the consequences of exiting Europe are grave. I have a simple message to all those who believe in remaining in Europe. We have to fight for our economic future, for our children’s future and for the country that we want to be. Speak out, sign the petition and tell your MP to ask for a vote. [Continue reading…]