Parliament is more likely to block Brexit than allow Britain to crash out of the EU without a deal, Theresa May is set to warn as she delivers a rallying cry to MPs to back her withdrawal agreement.
The Prime Minister will use a speech to factory workers in Stoke-on-Trent on the eve of the critical Commons vote on her exit plan to ask MPs to consider the “consequences” of their actions on the faith of British people in democracy.
She will warn that trust in politicians will suffer “catastrophic harm” if they fail to implement the result of the referendum.
With less than 36 hours to go until the long-awaited vote, May is expected to say: “I ask MPs to consider the consequences of their actions on the faith of the British people in our democracy.
“Imagine if an anti-devolution House of Commons had said to the people of Scotland or Wales that despite voting in favour of a devolved legislature, Parliament knew better and would overrule them. Or else force them to vote again.
“What if we found ourselves in a situation where Parliament tried to take the UK out of the EU in opposition to a remain vote?
“People’s faith in the democratic process and their politicians would suffer catastrophic harm.
“We all have a duty to implement the result of the referendum.”
The Prime Minister will say that while the two sides in the 2016 referendum disagreed on many things, they were united on one thing - that “what the British people decided, the politicians would implement”.
“On the rare occasions when Parliament puts a question to the British people directly we have always understood that their response carries a profound significance,” May will say.
“When the people of Wales voted by a margin of 0.3%, on a turnout of just over 50%, to endorse the creation of the Welsh Assembly, that result was accepted by both sides and the popular legitimacy of that institution has never seriously been questioned.
“Parliament understood this fact when it voted overwhelmingly to trigger Article 50. And both major parties did so too when they stood on election manifestos in 2017 that pledged to honour the result of the referendum.”