Proposed joint statement from the leaders of the UK’s main political parties:
“Last week the British people voted in an advisory referendum to indicate whether they wished to remain in the European Union. By a narrow margin voters decided that they wish to leave.
Members of parliament are elected to represent the views of the electorate and to make decisions that they believe in good conscience are in the best interests of their constituents and our country.
Since the result became clear in the early hours of Friday morning, the repercussions of a leave vote have started to become clear.
The Government, in concert with the Bank of England, has taken steps to reassure businesses and the markets. Nevertheless, there has been a sharp reaction on the markets.
Separately, questions are being raised about the future of the Union in both Scotland and Northern Ireland.
It is the responsibility of parliament to protect the best interests of the United Kingdom. It is the responsibility of the media and the public to call into question, debate and cast their votes on their elected representatives.
On both sides of this debate there have been accusations of untruths that have clouded the democratic process. Our collective concern is that the electorate made their decisions without full access to information about the consequences of the decision in either direction.
We therefore intend to do the following:
- Put the outcome of the advisory decision of the British people to vote of elected representatives in the House of Commons.
- If a majority vote of MPs supports the verdict we will proceed to enact Article 50 and make arrangements to leave the EU.
- If a majority vote of MPs rejects the verdict, the Prime Minister will call a general election with all parties enshrining in their manifestos a commitment to a binding referendum on membership of the European Union, requiring a 60% majority in order to settle the matter.
Britain is a sovereign nation with a proud history of advancing democratic principles both here and abroad. This referendum has centered on an issue of unparalleled complexity and whilst many may charge that we are ignoring the view of the majority, we are sufficiently concerned about the manner in which the campaigns were fought and the unexpected consequences of the result that we believe that this triple test should apply.”