Theresa May has been accused of displaying the arrogance of a Tudor monarch over her reported intention to deny a parliamentary vote on Brexit before beginning the process of pulling the UK out of the European Union.
The prime minister is allegedly planning to prevent MPs from voting on the decision to leave the EU before article 50, the legislation that will trigger the UK’s formal exit from the bloc, is triggered.
There has been a post-referendum debate over whether the result is merely advisory, as the act that created it did not specify whether the result would be binding. Some have argued a vote should be held in parliament to ratify the result.
The Telegraph reported that May had been told by government lawyers that she did not need parliamentary approval to trigger the procedure, but it is believed that the prime minister could face legal challenges over the decision.
The vast majority of MPs – up to 480 – and most Lords have supported remaining in the EU. Some reacted with anger at the news. Owen Smith, who is challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour party, suggested May would avoid a parliamentary debate because there wasn’t sufficient support for Brexit.
Theresa May is clearly running scared from parliamentary scrutiny of her Brexit negotiations, he said. She’s looked at the numbers and she knows she might not win a vote in parliament.
She hasn’t set out what Brexit means and she doesn’t want to be held to account on vital issues such as stripping away workers’ rights and environmental safeguards.
Smith said that if he was to become the opposition leader, he would press for whatever final deal she, Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davis come up with to be put to the British people, either in a second referendum or at a general election.
David Lammy, the Tottenham MP who has been campaigning for a second referendum, tweeted that the plans were a stitch-up, adding that in our democracy, parliament is sovereign and must vote ahead of any decision to Brexit.
Stitch up. In our democracy Parliament is sovereign and must vote ahead of any decision to Brexit pic.twitter.com/xGCCHQiRK9
The shadow international trade secretary, Barry Gardiner, also spoke out against May’s plans. The logic of saying the prime minister can trigger article 50 without first setting out to parliament the terms and basis upon which her government seeks to negotiate – indeed, without even indicating the red lines she will seek to protect – would be to diminish parliament and assume the arrogant powers of a Tudor monarch.
Parliament cannot be sidelined from the greatest constitutional change our country has debated in 40 years, he added.
Meanwhile, Bill Cash, a Conservative MP and leading Brexit campaigner, welcomed the news about the reported legal advice. It sounds emphatic, and that’s what we want to hear, he told the Telegraph.
There are people who are threatening to try and stop Brexit. The bottom line is that there is nothing that could possibly be allowed to stand in its way. Everyone in Europe is expecting it, the decision has been taken by the British people, and that’s it. Let’s get on with it.
News Source TheGuardianNews