Theresa May vows to carry out Brexit ‘in full’ following High Court ruling
Theresa May has vowed to carry out Brexit “in full” despite the High Court ruling on leaving the EU.
The prime minister said the government needed to “get on with the job” and MPs should “accept” the referendum result.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph she said she was appealing against the High Court decision because there was “an important principle at stake”.
Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would block Article 50 if Mrs May does not guarantee access to the single market.
On Thursday, the High Court ruled Parliament should vote on when the government can trigger Article 50, beginning the formal process of the UK leaving the EU.
In her first comments on the ruling, Mrs May said: “This may appear to be a debate about process, and the legal argument is complex, but in reality there is an important principle at stake.
“Parliament voted to put the decision about our membership of the EU in the hands of the British people. The people made their choice, and did so decisively.
“It is the responsibility of the government to get on with the job and to carry out their instruction in full.”
The prime minister said MPs and peers who regret the referendum result “need to accept what the people decided” and called for unity on taking Brexit forward.
“Instead of re-fighting the battles of the past, we should be focusing on how we can come together as a country to make the most of this great national opportunity and forge a bold, confident, global future for Britain,” she added.
“That should be our ambition one around which we can all unite.”
However, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party would block the prime minister from triggering the process of leaving the EU unless she agreed to the party’s “Brexit bottom line”, which includes access to the single market.
He told the Sunday Mirror: “The court has thrown a big spanner in the works by saying Parliament must be consulted. We accept the result of the referendum.
“We are not challenging the referendum. We are not calling for a second referendum. We’re calling for market access for British industry to Europe.”
Mr Corbyn said the opposition would not allow Article 50 to go ahead unless Mrs May agreed four principles.
These are: • access to the single market • a commitment to EU workplace rights • guarantees on safeguarding consumers and the environment A pledge to commit funds for any EU capital investment lost by Brexit
The Labour leader said his party “would be ready” if the government decided to call an early election, adding: “We have the members, the organisation and the enthusiasm. We welcome the challenge.
“It would give us the chance to put before the British people an alternative economic strategy for this country.”
Mrs May reiterated her commitment to delivering Brexit despite the High Court ruling as she prepared to fly to India on her first trade mission as prime minister.
She said she wanted to send out a message that the UK was “open for business” and make the most of the opportunities “offered by Brexit as the world’s foremost champion of free trade”.
The prime minister said Britain could not sign new free trade deals until it had left the EU but it did not stop the government from “preparing the ground”.
She said her trip to India would involve introducing UK businesses to the opportunities in the overseas market as well as discussing a future trade agreement.
The prime minister added: “This is the spirit in which I want us to go forward in forging this new role in the world: bold, forward-looking, open and ambitious.
“By forging that role on the world stage and ever stronger partnerships, we will be able to deliver our vision back at home: to make Britain a country that works for everyone, not just a privileged few.”
Some newspapers reacted with fury to the High Court ruling
The government will go to the Supreme Court next month in an attempt to overturn the High Court decision that Parliament should vote on triggering Article 50.
The judges behind the ruling faced a backlash from some newspapers which led the Bar Council to urge the government to curb the criticism.
Lord Chancellor Liz Truss backed the independence of the UK’s judiciary but stopped short of condemning attacks.
Mrs May has said she is “confident” the government will win the appeal and is committed to triggering Article 50 by March 2017.