PM May warns MPs against block­ing Brexit

The Myanmar Times - - World -

BRI­TISH Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May warned law­mak­ers yes­ter­day not to block Brexit, af­ter the High Court ruled that she can­not start the process of leav­ing the Euro­pean Union with­out par­lia­ment’s ap­proval.

The Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment has said it will ap­peal last week’s court de­ci­sion and Ms May be­lieves she has a strong case.

But ahead of a trade mis­sion to In­dia, Ms May cau­tioned mem­bers of par­lia­ment against us­ing the rul­ing to un­der­mine the re­sult of the June ref­er­en­dum.

“The re­sult was clear. It was le­git­i­mate. MPs and peers who re­gret the ref­er­en­dum re­sult need to ac­cept what the peo­ple de­cided,” she said.

Sup­port­ers of Brexit re­sponded an­grily to the court’s de­ci­sion, amid spec­u­la­tion that pro-Euro­pean law­mak­ers would seek to wa­ter down the break with the EU and de­rail Ms May’s plans to be­gin for­mal exit talks by the end of March.

“Now we need to turn our minds to how we get the best out­come for our coun­try,” the prime min­is­ter said.

“That means stick­ing to our plan and timetable, get­ting on with the work of de­vel­op­ing our ne­go­ti­at­ing strat­egy and not putting all our cards on the ta­ble.

“That is not in our na­tional in­ter­est and it won’t help us get the best deal for Bri­tain.”

The High Court ruled that the govern­ment does not have the power to trig­ger Ar­ti­cle 50 of the EU’s Lis­bon Treaty, which would set off a two-year countdown to leav­ing the bloc, with­out the prior ap­proval of par­lia­ment.

Op­po­si­tion Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn has said he will not seek to re­verse the ref­er­en­dum re­sult.

But he told the Sun­day Mir­ror tabloid that he would vote against Ar­ti­cle 50 un­less Ms May agreed to press for con­tin­ued ac­cess to the Euro­pean sin­gle mar­ket and guar­an­tee EU work­place rights af­ter Brexit.

“These must be the ba­sis of the ne­go­ti­a­tions. And it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily cause a de­lay,” he said. “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.”

The High Court de­ci­sion has fu­elled spec­u­la­tion that Ms May might call an early elec­tion to strengthen her sup­port in the House of Com­mons be­fore the EU vote. The next gen­eral elec­tion is not due un­til 2020.

Jus­tice Min­is­ter Liz Truss mean­while of­fered her be­lated sup­port for the in­de­pen­dence of the ju­di­ciary af­ter the High Court faced a string of po­lit­i­cal at­tacks over its con­tro­ver­sial rul­ing on Brexit.

Ms Truss had been crit­i­cised for stay­ing silent over the back­lash against the land­mark judg­ment that the govern­ment can­not start the process of leav­ing the Euro­pean Union with­out par­lia­ment’s ap­proval.

One news­pa­per de­nounced the three judges as “enemies of the peo­ple” while mem­bers of Ms May’s Con­ser­va­tive party ac­cused them of “ju­di­cial ac­tivism” and of seek­ing to un­der­mine the June ref­er­en­dum vote for Brexit.

“The in­de­pen­dence of the ju­di­ciary is the foun­da­tion upon which our rule of law is built and our ju­di­ciary is rightly re­spected the world over for its in­de­pen­dence and im­par­tial­ity,” Ms Truss said. –

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