Brexit Secretary rules out MPs' vote on triggering Article 50
David Davis tells Foreign Affairs Committee there is no need for Parliamentary approval for Theresa May to begin formal process of UK's exit from European Union
THE MINISTER in charge of the UK's exit from the European Union has insisted there is no need for the Government to seek Parliamentary approval before triggering Brexit.
Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis told the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee that the result of June's referendum gave the government a clear mandate. He warned that a Westminster vote against invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty could set Parliament against the wishes of the electorate.
“The Government position is that it is an exercise of Crown Prerogative,” he said. “This is the only time that I am aware of in British history that the Crown Prerogative has been backed up by a 17.5million-vote mandate.
“A proposal that could put Parliament in opposition to the people over something as simple as this is an extraordinary one.”
Mr Davis was speaking after an influential committee insisted the government should consult Parliament before triggering Article 50 to begin the formal process of Britain's exit from the EU.
The House of Lords Constitution Committee said that Prime Minister Theresa May's intention not to consult MPs 'set a dangerous precedent' and was 'constitutionally inappropriate'.
Committee chairman Lord Lang of Monkton said: “The referendum result was clear and it is right that the Government is preparing to take Britain out of the EU. However, our constitution is built on the principle of parliamentary sovereignty and the decision to act following the referendum should be taken by Parliament.”
The committee said triggering Brexit would begin an 'irreversible' process and it should be invoked only when it was in the UK's best interests.
As reported, it was revealed in August that Mrs May planned to set the two-year clock rolling after being told by government lawyers she has the executive authority to do so. But, Downing Street said, MPs would 'have their say'.
They are confident that judges hearing a legal challenge to the process of Britain's EU exit in October will rule in the government's favour.