Labour forces government to retreat on eve of humiliating Brexit rebellion
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Dec 08, 2016,
Dec 08, 2016, 1:24
The major U-turn has been made following a motion put forward in Parliament due to be discussed tomorrow which called on Mrs May to "commit to publishing the Government's plan for leaving the European Union before Article 50 is invoked".
Brexit Secretary David Davis promised the government would set out "strategic plans", but said it would not reveal anything that could "jeopardize our negotiating position".
Labour Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said his party was not seeking to block Brexit - backed by a majority of voters in a June referendum - but to bring "clarity, scrutiny and accountability" to the process.
Opening the main debate, the opposition Labour Party's Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, said he does not want to "frustrate" the process "or to delay the timetable", but he called on the government to produce a minimum plan for what it wants to achieve in talks with the EU.
The Guardian reported that support for soft-Brexit was gaining round and quoted former education secretary Nick Morgan as saying: 'I welcome the government's recognition that they will need to publish a Brexit plan which can be scrutinised by MPs on behalf of their constituents, however they voted on 23 June.
Following her promise to provide more details of her Brexit strategy, they supported her plan to invoke Article 50, which begins the formal process of withdrawal, by the end of March.
But by agreeing to the government's demand for parliament to endorse May's timetable for Article 50, Labour lawmakers were accused of falling into a trap - allowing ministers to begin the divorce without consultation.
Mr Starmer also said that the Government should not act "solely for the 52% (who voted to leave the EU)".
Meanwhile, the Conservative Party press office used its Twitter account to "name and shame" Labour MPs who voted against the motion.
But he said the plan must set out whether the Government intends to keep Britain in the European single market or customs union or to seek a transitional arrangement to cover the period immediately after Brexit.
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Mr Davis told MPs today the government is now waiting for the ruling to get precisely right what it is [the House of Commons] has to do.
Davis was challenged by members of his own ruling Conservative Party, as well as opposition lawmakers, to set out whether the United Kingdom will remain inside or outside the customs union.
But at the same time, she aims to bind MPs to her timetable of triggering Article 50 in March next year.
The government's lawyer, James Eadie, told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that if it loses the case, ministers could present a "one-line" piece of legislation to parliament authorising Article 50 and seek to push it through as quickly as possible.
The UK Prime Minister is forcing MPs to say whether they back Brexit by asking them to vote in Parliament on whether they "respect" the will of the British people.
Lawmakers on Wednesday backed a call by Labour for the government to set out its plans for leaving the European Union before formal talks begin.
BBC political correspondent Alex Forsyth said the government's agreement to publish its plan "did not commit to providing any real detail".
Tory defence committee chairman Julian Lewis said that if the opposition did not oppose the Government's amendment, it would be "completely unacceptable and totally inconsistent" if they were to try to delay Brexit next year.
Prof Muscatelli said the issue of freedom of movement had been the subject of a "lot of discussion" by the Standing Council on Europe.
Plaid Cymru said its MPs would wait to see what the Government's plans look like before deciding whether to vote for Article 50.