Conservative MP at DMU Brexit debate admits she never wants to see another referendum

By Tyler Arthur 

An influential Conservative MP admitted she never wants to see another referendum, as she attended a Brexit debate at De Montfort University (DMU) on Friday(NOV23).

The Be The Change event hosted by DMU’s Vice Chancellor Dominic Shellard invited Conservative MP Nicky Morgan and Labour MEP Rory Palmer to speak to university students and staff on the complicated topic of Brexit.

Mr Shellard led the discussion and asked questions to the two visitors based on their personal and political experiences and opinions, before opening the floor for students to ask their questions.

During the debate, Mrs Morgan, MP for Loughborough, declared: “If I had it my way, we would never have a referendum ever again.

“We’ve come to a point now [within Brexit], where I believe representatives of the country should be trusted to make the decisions.”

Left to right: MEP Rory Palmer, Dominic Shellard and MP Nicky Morgan

Students had to apply for tickets to the event, entitled ‘BREXIT: What Next?’ which was held in the Trinity House Chapel on the DMU campus.

Mr Palmer, a member of the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, and ex-deputy city mayor of Leicester, opened the discussion by explaining how the other nations of the EU feel during this time.

He said: “The mood has started to shift slightly. There’s always been a bit of sadness in Brussels [after Brexit, but] the mood now is a real sense of frustration. People are tired of this.

Mrs Morgan expressed how good the Be The Change event was and how positive it is to see this dialogue.

She said: “It’s great to see these types of debates and discussions. It’s a shame that it took for Brexit to happen to open up this public discourse.”

She continued, addressing the students: “It’s amazing to see people being passionate about politics. You are all the future, and that future is a bright one, but for now the question is what happens in the mean time?”

The students and staff were also able to ask questions to the two politicians and make comments during the later stages of the debate.

One staff member suggested that there should be a second referendum, as the country couldn’t possibly get any more divided anyway – to which both of the visitors disagreed.

“You say we cannot get any more divided, but I say we can, and it could turn to violence,” Nicky Morgan responded.

WHAT NEXT?: Screens beside the debating guests advertised the #BeTheChange tag recognisable to those who follow @dmuleicester.

During the debate, the Conservative MP urged people to support Prime Minister Theresa May’s current Brexit agreement, while her opposing Labour MEP said that there are many flaws in the current strategy being proposed by the government – as well as several mistakes over the last two years which he identified.

Although the two politicians debated throughout, they both agreed that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would be a bad outcome, with Mr Palmer describing it as ‘an abject failure of the government that a no deal is even still an option at this point.’

Even though she supports the PM’s proposals, Mrs Morgan admitted: “No deal is absolutely possible, it’s about 50/50.

“A no deal would be catastrophic,” she concluded.

The Vice Chair of the DMU Labour Society, Thom Chapman, 20, who attended the event, said: “I really enjoyed the debate and I thought it was a very interesting discussion.

“To have two different politicians from opposing parties almost agreeing on how disastrous Brexit has been really shows the impact it will have on society.”

SAY CHEESE: MEP Rory Palmer grabs a selfie with his fellow guest for the debate and Vice Chancellor Shellard.

Before leaving, the two guest speakers stayed behind for a chat, and Mr Palmer suggested that they take a selfie for his Snapchat, before he left Mrs Morgan with a final goodbye.

“Best of luck over the next few weeks,” he said as he shook her hand, “do your best to stay sane.”


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