Leg­is­la­tion ‘within days’ as Brexit Sec Davis stays up­beat

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By COLIN HURST [email protected]­

LEG­IS­LA­TION will be in­tro­duced “within days” to en­sure the Gov­ern­ment can stick to its timetable of leav­ing the Euro­pean Union by the end of March, Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis has told MPs.

He said the Gov­ern­ment’s de­feat in a his­toric court bat­tle over Brexit in the Supreme Court would not de­rail Theresa May’s plans to be­gin the two-year process of with­drawal ne­go­ti­a­tions.


Mr Davis said the Supreme Court rul­ing did not af­fect the fact Bri­tain will be leav­ing the EU in line with the re­sult of the 2016 ref­er­en­dum, telling MPs: “There can be no turn­ing back.

“The point of no re­turn was passed on June 23 last year.”

By a ma­jor­ity of eight to three, judges at the Supreme Court re­jected the Gov­ern­ment’s ar­gu­ment the Prime Min­is­ter could use pre­rog­a­tive pow­ers to kick-off the talks un­der Ar­ti­cle 50, rul­ing in­stead it must first seek Par­lia­ment’s ap­proval.

In a state­ment to the House of Com­mons, Mr Davis said this would be done by means of “the most straight­for­ward Bill pos­si­ble to give ef­fect to the de­ci­sion of the peo­ple and re­spect the Supreme Court’s judg­ment”.

The pur­pose of the bill will be “sim­ply to give the Gov­ern­ment the power to in­voke Ar­ti­cle 50 and be­gin the process of leav­ing the Euro­pean Union”, he said.

He added: “Par­lia­ment will rightly scru­ti­nise and de­bate this leg­is­la­tion but I trust no-one will seek to make it a ve­hi­cle for at­tempts to thwart the will of the peo­ple or frus­trate or de­lay the process of ex­it­ing the Euro­pean Union.”

Mr Davis said: “This is not about whether or not the UK should leave the EU.

“That de­ci­sion has al­ready been made by the peo­ple of the United King­dom.

“We’ll work with col­leagues in both Houses to en­sure this Bill is passed in good time for us to in­voke Ar­ti­cle 50 by the end of March.”

With Labour declar­ing it will not frus­trate the in­vo­ca­tion of Ar­ti­cle 50, there was lit­tle doubt the Prime Min­is­ter can get a bill through Par­lia­ment.


But she risks hav­ing her hands tied in ne­go­ti­a­tions by any con­di­tions in­serted by MPs into the leg­is­la­tion, with the Scot­tish Na­tional Party declar­ing it will ta­ble 50 “se­ri­ous and sub­stan­tive” amend­ments.

The high­est court in the land re­jected an ap­peal by min­is­ters against a High Court judg­ment block­ing their de­ci­sion to be­gin Bri­tain’s exit from the EU with­out Par­lia­ment hav­ing a say.

Giv­ing a sum­mary of the court’s find­ings, Supreme Court pres­i­dent Lord Neu­berger said: “The is­sues in these pro­ceed­ings have noth­ing to do with whether the UK should exit from the EU, or the terms or timetable for that exit.”

He added: “With­drawal from the EU would mean a fun­da­men­tal change to the UK’s laws by cut­ting off one of its sources, as well as chang­ing the le­gal rights of Bri­tish cit­i­zens.

“The UK’s con­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ments re­quire such changes to be clearly autho­rised by Par­lia­ment.


RUL­ING: Lord Neu­berger

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