26th Oct 2017
I did my genuflexion to democracy by voting to start article 50 process. we cannot be bound by a snapshot of public opinion on one day in June 2016 if it means the UK economy slithering towards an economic sinkhole. Today I tried to make that point to Brexit Minister David Davis.
Will the Secretary of State ignore the voices of manic optimism that seem to be compulsory among Conservative Members and agree that the choice that will be made on the final deal will be very, very different from the choice made on 23 June 2016? Does he not believe that well-informed second thoughts are always superior to ill-informed first thoughts?
· Mr Davis
Unlike the hon. Gentleman, I respect the views of 17.5 million people, and I intend to uphold them.
Ben Bradshaw and I have raised this serious point two weeks running at Commons Business Question. Last week the Commons Leader was dismissive. This week she was more reasonable probably after having some briefing on the subject.
I wonder whether the Leader of the House can answer a question the Prime Minister failed to answer when I asked her on Monday, or ensure that I get a written answer: have the Government or their agencies received any requests from Robert Mueller, the special counsel, or the congressional investigators in the United States for help or information in connection with their inquiry into Russian subversion of the American presidential election?
If the right hon. Gentleman wants to write to me on this, I will see whether I can get him an answer.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr Bradshaw) has again raised a crucial issue. We now have, almost every week, new proof that Russia and foreign billionaires are interfering with elections and referendums in other countries. May we have an urgent debate on the fact that we have no mechanisms to protect the integrity of our electoral system, given the possibility of sudden general elections or a second Brexit vote?
The hon. Gentleman is as concerned as Members from right across the House are about potential interventions in democratic systems. He will be aware that a lot of investigatory work is going on, and he will know very well of appropriate ways to raise this matter through a debate in this House.