Presently on the late train south to London with a packed week ahead dominated by multiple debates on Article 50. The 130 word bill was debated for 2 extended days last week, leading to a vote by 498-114 in favour. The BBC have reported the result here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38833883
It is fair to say that there were some differing views - a fifth / quarter of the liberal and labour MPs did not support the referendum result, whilst only Ken clarke voted with the labour and liberal opponents.
For my part I have made my position clear these last 6 months notably last week:
The key passage from my argument has always been a respect for democracy:
"The European referendum was a divisive process for the nation. It divided houses, let alone political parties. But the result was clear. A 4% win in a 2 horse race is a big win. But my view would not change if either side had won by a narrower margin. I respect the democratic process and I respect the result.
If I had lost the general election by a slim margin I would have reached across to my opponents, shaken their hand, wished them well with a difficult job, kissed my good lady, and definitely have gone to the pub. A quantity of beer would clearly have followed (preferably Northumbrian Ale - I definitely support my local brewers).
It is well known in the north east that I campaigned for Remain in the referendum; but I fully accept the result. In order to trigger the process the Prime Minister has to notify formally the EU that the process must commence using Article 50. Parliament has already voted on this once since June 23 2016 and I believe that the Prime Minister is quite right to make it very clear that she will respect the June 23 result.
But the opposition parties are taking a different line. The liberals seem to have forgotten the democrat part of their name - and clearly therefore a liberal democrat does not respect democracy. I listen to their argument which goes "the people have voted but the people were wrong, and should be ignored."
I will be writing in detail to all locals who have written in to me by email or letter when this process is finished for now on Wednesday night. All emails and letters are read and considered.
But this is democracy. There were many good speeches last week in the debate but I was particularly struck by the speech of my friend and colleague Robert Jenrick
The salient parts of his speech are here: