Davis gets tough over Brexit

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By COLIN HURST news@sun­

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

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