Reflecting on the Referendum Result

I was pleased that Horsham voted to Remain but was clearly disappointed by the national result. I appreciate that the overall majority for Leave was relatively small but it was a majority. Had the result been the same numbers but supporting Remain I would have dismissed any prospect of holding a second Referendum.

The Referendum produced a result and led to the resignation of the Prime Minister. It did not however produce an alternative strategy or alternative Government for us to hold to account on a manifesto. At present there is not a consistent view on what "Brexit" means. The two options being presented by Brussels are at one end being outside the single market customs union and on the other EEA membership – “paying-in” and accepting free movement of labour in return for tariff free access to the single market.  Neither is likely to be welcomed in the UK and much work needs to be done.

I do not believe that we should rush to trigger Article 50, far from it. There are dramatic shifts ongoing across Europe which could have a significant positive impact on our eventual outcome after tempers have cooled.

In the immediate term there is much to be done.

Many hundreds of thousands of EU nationals currently living here and performing invaluable services in the NHS and elsewhere must know they are welcome here. Incidents of hate crime are absolutely abhorrent and directly contradict what we all, I believe, hold to be the British character.

We need the early stabilisation of markets. Having been (in HM Treasury) directly involved in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis I would encourage everyone not to be overly alarmed by the immediate market reaction. It of course makes a huge difference to pension pot valuations and investments in the very short term but it will stabilise. Provided contagion does not spread into the Eurozone we will, I believe, have a more stable backdrop to the commencement of discussions. Stability is the first step in enabling us to start the process of rebuilding confidence in the UK as a focus for investment.

Lastly but critically, retaining the unity and cohesion of our United Kingdom. The break-up of the UK would be economically disastrous for Scotland but this does not mean it won’t happen. It would be emotionally and practically disastrous for the rest of the UK. This would be at every level: a "hard border" along the Tweed (or around Northern Ireland) would have huge consequences. On a national basis losing Scotland would have a profound impact on our status in the world and defence capabilities. The mood in Scotland right now is very concerning, I sincerely hope that passions will cool and I will do everything in my power to help facilitate this.

We face the most momentous events for our country in 70 years. As your MP I will do my utmost to encourage sober, reflective and considered decision making as we meet the challenge set out by the electorate.