Anna Soubry has told the House of Commons that it is time for MPs to do the right thing on Brexit amid claims that threats were influencing votes.
During an impassioned speech she pleaded for the government not to go ‘over the cliff’ into a hard Brexit and warned MPs not to ignore the 48% of the UK who voted to remain.
She also explained she was tired of MPs approaching her in ‘quiet and dark corridors’, of British businesses who demand private meetings where they ‘lay bare their despair but refuse to go public’, and those commentators who encourage her to keep going in the face of death threats.
The Conservative backbencher revealed that six undercover police officers gave protection to an MP on a public engagement amid claims that threats were influencing Brexit votes.
‘That is the country we have created and it’s got to stop. To the journalists who fight nobly for every cause but on this most important of issue are mute. It’s got to stop.’
She added: ‘Everybody now has to stand up and be true to what they believe in.’
Soubry reminded the House of Commons of the 48% who were being ignored by the government.
‘We reckon that overall 52% voted to leave, but the 48% who voted to remain have been put to one side in this process and ignored. That has to stop. We have to come back together and we have to do the right thing.’
She also repeated the defiant words spoken by David Davis from his days as a backbencher when he regularly rebelled against the government.
‘The House is made up of 651 robust individuals whose position gives them a powerful say in what the executive can and cannot do. The powers of the House are sovereign and they have the ability to upset the best-laid plans of ministers and of government, which no minister ever forgets, and nor should any backbencher.’
She added: ‘Those words were true then, and they are true now. They were spoken by the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.’