We may, unfortunately, have to accept that we will not agree on this issue. I remain of the view that holding a second referendum would not be constructive for the negotiations or help to bring the country together. I am therefore putting my efforts into helping to secure the best deal for the UK.
I believe that the prospect of another vote would not give any incentive to EU negotiators to agree the best possible deal with this country. It would also damage public trust in our democratic system. Such a referendum would be seen as politician's vote; telling voters that they got it wrong the first time and should try again.
In 1975, the UK's membership of the European Economic Community was confirmed in a referendum and I believe that it is only right that the country's departure should also have been settled by a referendum in 2016. Indeed, during the 41 years between the two votes, the Single European Act was passed, four new treaties were ratified and 19 new countries joined the EU. Yet successive UK Governments cited the 1975 referendum as a mandate. As such, I do not think the mandate of the 2016 referendum could be deemed invalid less than 3 years later, before the result has even been implemented.
Crucially, both the Labour Party and Conservative Party manifestos at the 2017 general election promised to respect and implement the result of the referendum. Furthermore, voter turnout in 2016 was higher than in any election over the last 25 years and more people voted to leave the EU than have ever voted for anything in our country's history.