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In her address, Rt Hon Gisela Stuart discussed how the United Kingdom’s parliamentary democracy has been a late comer to nationwide referendums and how this requires significant reflection.

She argued that the EU referendum in the United Kingdom in 2016 and the widely unexpected, but clear result has amplified many new issues. Ms Stuart outlined how the politics is proving to be more divisive and bitter than previous referendums. Members of parliament are at odds with their constituents, divisions run across political parties as well as regions and nations of the UK.

Ms Stuart contended that choosing to leave the political structure of the European Union is a rational decision by the people and that finding mutually beneficially solutions for politicians and the people alike is the key step in this process.


About the Speaker:

Rt Hon Gisela Stuart was Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston 1997-2017. Before entering parliament she served an apprenticeship in Germany, studied Law in London and studied Business Studies in Manchester.

In the 2016 Referendum, Rt Hon Stuart chaired the board of Vote Leave, the officially designated group which campaigned to leave the European Union. Since 2017, she has chaired Change Britain, a cross party organisation working towards a successful Brexit.

David Cameron appointed Ms Stuart to the Intelligence and Security Committee, which overseas the work of M15, M16 and GCHQ in 2015. Ms Stuart previously served as Health Minister in the first Blair administration.