Will Theresa May trigger Brexit negotiations without Commons vote?

Will she or won't she? The Telegraph says Theresa May will not allow Parliament to vote on Brexit - but isn't that unconstitutional?

Will she or won’t she? The Telegraph says Theresa May will not allow Parliament to vote on Brexit – but isn’t that unconstitutional? [Composite: The Telegraph.]

It is true that all referenda in the UK are advisory – that is, they do not compel the government to follow the decision.

The fact that they show what the British public wants sends a very strong message, though, and any government would be foolish to ignore it.

But it is important that the correct processes are observed.

It would be unconstitutional for Mrs May to invoke Article 50, the formal trigger for negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, without a vote in Parliament.

This Writer can’t understand why she would want to do otherwise.

‘Remain’-supporting MPs might wish to voice their disapproval, but it could be a career-ending move for any of them to openly defy the democratically-achieved decision of the people.

That’s something Owen Smith may have forgotten, but then his career will come to a sudden end very soon, in any case.

Theresa May will not hold a parliamentary vote on Brexit before opening negotiations to formally trigger Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Opponents of Brexit claim that because the EU referendum result is advisory it must be approved by a vote in the Commons before Article 50 – the formal mechanism to leave the EU – is triggered.

But sources say that because Mrs May believes that “Brexit means Brexit” she will not offer opponents the opportunity to stall Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

Mrs May has consulted Government lawyers who have told the Prime Minister she has the executive power to invoke Article 50 and begin the formal process of exiting the European Union without a vote in Parliament.

Her decision will come as a blow to Remain campaigners, who had been hoping to use Parliament to delay or halt Brexit entirely.

Source: Theresa May will trigger Brexit negotiations without Commons vote


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18 thoughts on “Will Theresa May trigger Brexit negotiations without Commons vote?

  1. Roy Beiley

    Why would any sensible Govt go along with a’ Peoples Referendum’ vote that is likely to plunge the country into unwanted poor financial and economic situation for the next 10? years according to most Economists. Just to satisfy those who voted out because “they wanted their country back from unelected EU bureaucrats”! I don’t like being a ‘loser’ because I voted to remain but I never imagined that the Govt would pursue a course of financial and economic suicide just to save face! “MAYbe” shexwill see sence at the 11th hour. Here’s hoping.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Conversely, why would any sensible government allow the kind of campaigning we had, in which lies were presented as facts and nothing was done to prove or disprove them?
      The end result was that the public were left to base their vote on their own prejudices, because they simply did not know and had no way of finding out what information was accurate, and what wasn’t.
      Considering this context, it seems to me that the government has made its bed and ought to lie in it. The decision has been made and it is for our elected members to rubber-stamp it in a Parliamentary vote and then do the best they can at the negotiation stage.
      I’m not happy with it either – I voted ‘Remain’.
      But actions have consequences, and that needs to be made clear to everybody – from Boris Johnson and Michael Gove all the way down the line.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, she would be wrong. Remainers would be wrong to challenge it, too.
      I voted ‘Remain’, by the way.

      1. Aelfy

        I too voted remain and no matter how much I dislike the outcome and the way it was achieved, I have accepted it, warts and all.

      2. A Grumpy_Old_Man (@Hairyloon)

        I’ve seen you talk some rubbish in your time Mike, but that one takes the award: of course it is not wrong to challenge it.
        Even if it had been a decent and well informed decision on a choice which was between options that actually were on the table, democracy is not a black and white, one way process: people are entitled to change their minds.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        But they are not entitled to force a whole country to vote again just because they didn’t like the answer.
        We have had a referendum on the European Union and the people have spoken.
        Live with it.
        Oh, and by the way: You have never seen me talk rubbish at all. This is a written medium.
        Perhaps you need to rethink the quality of your insults. If so – send them somewhere else. Be polite or you won’t be seen.

  2. Dai

    The problem is mike everything we do is unconstitutional.

    We have no written constitution, if we did, how would the unelected Hanger’s on fit into it.

    1. A Grumpy_Old_Man (@Hairyloon)

      We have a constitution, whether it is written or not is not the relevant question, but had it been written, then would it have been flexible enough to allow the Lords to block the Tax Credit cuts in the way that they did?
      I think it very unlikely: in one simple move, they demonstrated why we need the Lords and how good it is to have the constitutional flexibility that we do.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        The Lords’ ability to block the Tax Credit cuts would have been safe, whether the constitution was written or not. It’s their raison d’etre to debate Parliamentary Bills and send back for reconsideration the parts they reject.

  3. mohandeer

    What is TM about? A debate cannot hurt except to establish a consensus on when and how the Article 50 should be invoked. Any Parliamentarian who would like to stand up and say that they do not wish to abide by the people’s vote is denouncing democracy. We had a referendum, we lost and now we must accept the democratic will of the majority. If she wants to duck the proceedings, well…..Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread – and she ain’t no angel. Very telling about who and what she is and I can’t see her lasting very long.

  4. Chris Lovett

    Democracy? This was the choice the almost entirely uninformed and ill educated electorate – whilst hugely prejudiced given the sources of those things, the biased MSM – faced. a) Leave, and it will be all wonderful. b) Leave and it will all be dreadful. No grounds here for any change at all. An utter waste of time. And even then, 36% is considered enough to stuff the nation?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Look at the general election last year – 24 per cent was enough to stuff the nation.

  5. philipburdekin

    I don’t think Britain will leave the Europe and all this was more lies upon more lies, they don’t care what the people want and never will care as long as the TORIES are in No/10.

  6. Zippi

    As I have said, what is to say that remaining would have been the better decision? We simply don’t know. In the run up to the referendum, I challenged everybody, regardless of which way they planned to vote and I can tell you that there were just as many clueless people who planned to vote to remain – politicians included – as there were people who planned to vote to leave. I resent the assumption that only those who voted to leave voted on their prejudices and were ill informed and ill educated. Even our Minister For Europe failed to answer questions that I put to him about the E.U.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s a fair point that there were ignorant people on both sides.
      However, we are now in a situation where the arguments for ‘Leave’ have pretty much fallen apart and there is no strategy to exit the EU without harm to the UK economy.
      So the prima facie evidence suggests that leaving was the poorer of the two choices.

Comments are closed.