17 October 2016
The Mile End Institute's new series of events brings senior figures from across the political spectrum to Queen Mary University of London for an in-depth exploration of their politics. Our first guest, co-chair of the Vote Leave campaign, Labour MP, Gisela Stuart was in conversation with Professor Philip Cowley.Time: 6:30 - 8:00pm
Venue: Skeel Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary University of London
Gisela Stuart was co-chair of the Vote Leave campaign in the EU Referendum and now leads Change Britain – a pressure group dedicated to ensuring Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. She has been a Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston since 1997.
Speaking at the Mile End Institute, Stuart said: “I think there will be occasions after we trigger Article 50 where Parliament will want to express its view.
All the talk about Article 50 and a parliamentary debate, this is just about people wanting to reopen the debate. The country voted to leave, and the way you leave is to trigger Article 50.”
Responding to questions of Professor Philip Cowley from QMUL’s School of Politics and International Relations, Stuart rejected the idea that leave voters did not understand the implications of what they voted for in terms of the single market.
She said: “There is a modern mythology developing that people didn’t know what they were voting for. You’ve got a debate now about the single market. The argument for the single market has become a proxy for those who want to rerun the campaign.”
She added: “We said to vote leave, you vote to leave the single market. Cameron and Osborne said if you vote leave you vote to leave the single market. To now turn around and say people voting leave didn’t know they’d be leaving the single market…really?”
Stuart criticised what she described as a “sneering arrogance that the only people who voted to leave were the poor, the uneducated and the not very bright”.