The beauty of a referendum is that every voter has an equal voice, every vote carries equal weight, and Members of Parliament have no moral or political superiority over anybody else. Does my right hon. Friend accept that the referendum is not a consultation but an instruction to Parliament from the British people? Is it not therefore incumbent on all of us to accept in advance that remain would mean remain and leave would mean leave, and that any attempt to short-change or distort the verdict of the British people would be a democratic outrage?
My right hon. Friend is absolutely right: every vote counts the same. We have asked the British people for their opinion, and we should treat their decision as an instruction to deliver. I know many people would like me to be a bit more nuanced in what I think, and to say there are two options that both have some merits and that it is a balanced decision. That might have made my life easier, but the problem is that I do not believe it. I very strongly believe that we are better off if we stay in. That is why the Government and I are saying so clearly to the British people: better off, stronger, safer. But in the end, it is the British people’s decision.