- Two MPs have written to readers reassuring there is no ploy to halt Brexit
- Ex Foreign Office Minister MP Alistair Burt and MP Jeremy Lefroy call for time
- The two MPs argue that Parliament should play a key role in Brexit negotiations
Let us reassure any Brexiteers reading this. There is no covert plot by Tory MPs to keep us in the EU. There is no ruthless operation to hijack the Commons timetable and use the Article 50 Bill to reverse the will of the referendum.
There is only a determination – reflecting the ‘taking back control’ argument that was such a feature of the referendum campaign – that Parliament has a role at the end of Brexit negotiations.
Not just on any agreement reached, but also if there is no deal – an eventuality with significant and deeply worrying consequences.
MP Alistair Burt, ex Foreign Office Minister (left) and Jeremy Lefroy (right) MP for Stafford said that the government must play a crucial role informing the Brexit deal in order to ensure proper planning and exit strategies are considered – potentially halting the PMs 48 hour Brexit plan
There is an absolute logic that Parliament should be given a say in both circumstances but the Government has been reluctant to agree to a vote in the case of no deal, arguing it would hamper negotiations.
But if the UK’s stance is not weakened by having to seek a vote on a final deal, why should the Government fear a vote on ‘no deal’? Just because the consequences of a vote at the end of the process are immense, there is no reason to deny Parliament that vote.
It is the need for a vote that reassures the public that the Government is living up to its commitments.
The negotiations are unlikely to be secret. We will know what’s on offer. We owe it to the British people to be involved on their behalf, whatever the outcome.
If the Government genuinely believes that a ‘no deal’ is in the UK’s best interests, an endorsement would surely be needed. It is unlikely a simple statement would satisfy the Commons, and an Opposition party could arrange a vote without much difficulty.
So let’s stop dancing around. There is going to be a vote on ‘no deal’ one way or another.
The assurance of this by the Government – without an amendment to the Bill – would be an acceptance of the obvious. Then we can move on.
We trust absolutely that the Government wants, and is seeking, the best negotiated deal on behalf of the UK.
It must trust a Parliament that has accepted Brexit to play its part in securing that.