Deep divisions over Brexit must be healed

Date: Monday 5th November 2018

Sir, I am writing in response to Christine Ravetz’s letter (Herald, 27th October). I hope that my position on Brexit is reasonably well known — not least from articles in the Herald.

For a number of reasons, which are not worth repeating here, I voted Remain. But I said repeatedly that I would accept the result of a referendum, that I would not push for a second referendum, and that if the British people voted for Brexit I would work hard to make Brexit a success.

I believed then, and believe now, that a second vote would not only be immensely difficult to organise and justify, but that asking the same question again (on the grounds that Remainers did not like the first answer) would cause huge damage to our constitution and democracy, giving strength to extremists, and undermine what remaining faith there is in politicians.

I can fully understand people who say we should never have had a referendum in the first place but I do not believe — once a referendum has been held — that we have any alternative other than to respect the result.

Our obligation now is to push for the best possible version of Brexit and through a practical, measured approach, which is respectful to all our citizens — however they voted — to create a positive future for Britain and heal the deep divisions that have intensified since the referendum. Yours etc,

RORY STEWART

(MP, Penrith and the Border)

By email