New Forest East


By Jack Warren

Express Online – 31 January 2017

A Conservative MP lauded the praise of fellow politicians after he delivered a pro-Brexit speech in just 17 words. Julian Lewis spent only a few seconds to tell the Commons why he would be voting in favour of invoking Article 50 during a debate in the Commons on Tuesday.

While many MPs chose to use their allotted 10 minutes in full to debate a bill that would allow Brexit talks to begin - Dr Lewis required just 17 words. Three hours into the deliberations the MP for New Forest East offered his fellow representatives respite from the usually long pitches.

As he rose, he simply said:

Thank you Mr Speaker, in my opinion, the people have decided and I'm going to vote accordingly,”

before sitting back down.

The short statement of the Leave campaigner was welcomed by MPs sitting inside the Chamber. After a short pause of silence – the Commons burst into laughter with calls of “Here! Here!” shouted across the room.

Speaking after the concise speech, Labour MP and chair of the “Leave” campaign, Gisela Stuart, offered her gratitude to Dr Lewis.

“I thought I had earned myself the reputation for brevity, but I think I have been beaten, so I offer my congratulations,”

she said before being heckled:

“You can sit down now”.

In good humour, Ms Stuart continued:

“I think this is a historic debate and it was made historic, not because of what members of this Parliament do, it's historic because of what the people did on June 23. They have now given us a task to implement that decision.”

The Birmingham MP said the NHS could be in line for an extra £100 million a week once Britain quit the EU.

“I chaired the official Leave campaign. And what can be said, what the Leave campaign was clear about, it was about taking back control of our borders,”

she continued.

“And that meant we wanted an immigration policy that was not based on geography, but on skills and economic need. We want to take back control of our laws and control of our trade negotiations. I also happen to think that the election pledge which we made, that at least £100 million per week, which we save from not making direct contributions to the EU, should go to the NHS, is something that Government should actually honour. The NHS is short of money.”

The debate on the Article 50 Bill is expected to continue until midnight on Monday - before MPs are given a vote on the matter on Tuesday.

The legislation is expected to be passed through, despite a number of Labour backbenchers rebelling against leader Jeremy Corbyn to join the SNP and some Lib Dems in voting against the will of the British people.