Gove claims ‘democracy was demanding’ backing for Brexit deal when voters chose anti-Brexit parties

Michael Gove addresses delegates addresses delegates during the Scottish Conservatives' annual party

Michael Gove addresses delegates addresses delegates during the Scottish Conservatives' annual party conference. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Michael Gove he claimed MPs must now back Theresa May's deal after voters turned away from pro-Brexit parties to support anti-Brexit parties, arguing it was because they had 'not yet delivered Brexit'.

The environment secretary argued that 'democracy demands' that MPs vote for the prime minister's Brexit deal and urged politicians from all parties to 'unite to respect the referendum result'.

Speaking in his home city of Aberdeen, Gove claimed that the Withdrawal Agreement 'does recognise the hopes and concerns of Remainers and Leavers alike'.

Reflecting on the local election results which saw the Tories suffer net losses of 1,269 seats, he said: 'If local elections down south tell us anything, they remind us that referendum verdicts must be honoured.

'Lots of hardworking Conservative councillors lost their seats because Parliament has not yet delivered Brexit.'

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Talking up May's deal, the Brexiteer added: 'It enables us to leave the EU, while safeguarding essential interests and liberating us to enjoy new opportunities.

'I am all too aware of how hard the prime minister has worked and how dedicated she has been to secure a good Brexit deal.

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'Which is why I hope that when parliament returns, that MPs from every party will unite to respect the referendum result and back the deal. That is what democracy demands.

'And then we can concentrate on uniting our country behind the vision of a brighter future and restore trust to our politics.'

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