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Davis gets tough over Brexit
NEGOTIATIONS on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union will go ahead by the end of March, David Davis has told the House of Commons.
The Brexit Secrretary revealed the government’s determination as MPs began to debate a Bill which will give Theresa May permission to go ahead with talks.
MPs are set to debate the EU (Notification On Withdrawal) Bill over two full days, concluding with a vote on Wednesday evening.
The Government had resisted a vote, but made to seek Parliament’s approval for its plans by a Supreme Court ruling last week.
But Mr Davis warned them at the outset they would not be able to vote to block Brexit, telling them the “point of no return” had already passed.
Following the vote to leave in last June’s referendum, Mr Davis said the only question now before Parliament was: “Do we trust the people or not?”
With Labour having said they will not seek to block the triggering of Article 50 – marking the start of the two-year Brexit process – the Bill is expected to clear its first parliamentary hurdle relatively easily.
But Speaker John Bercow selected for debate a Scottish National Party amendment which would delay Article 50.
Opening the Commons debate, Mr Davis said: “This is not a Bill about whether the UK should leave the EU or indeed how it should do it.
“It is simply about Parliament empowering Government to implement a decision already made, a point of no return already passed.
“We asked the people of the UK if they wanted to leave the EU. They decided they did. So at the core of this Bill lies a very simple question. Do we trust the people or not?
“The democratic mandate is clear. The electorate voted for a government to give them a referendum, Parliament then voted to hold the referendum, the people voted in that referendum and we are now honouring the result of that referendum, as we said we would.”
Mr Davis said the Bill was a “straightforward” piece of legislation.
He told MPs: “We will respect the will of the people and implement their will by March 31.”
RESPECT: Davis says he’ll honour will of the people