The pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to give parliament a bigger say in Brexit negotiations is mounting.
A House of Lords committee published a report on Thursday which said MPs and peers should be able to intervene in Brexit negotiations “as they happen” and give recommendations where they feel it is necessary.
Earlier this week, it emerged that the government intends to let parliament vote on the terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union, once the Article 50 process has come to an end.
However, as BI noted, this vote will be effectively meaningless.
MPs and peers will likely vote in favour of any deal May secures, as voting against the deal would lead Britain into the chaos of leaving the EU with no trade or diplomatic agreements in place.
The new House of Lords report rejected this plan as nothing more than a “rubber stamp” and called for the two houses to be given the power to provide a “timely and constructive commentary” on Brexit.
“Ministers keep saying that they will not offer a running commentary on the negotiations,” the report said.
“What they offer instead, namely parliamentary scrutiny after the fact, is in reality not scrutiny at all — it could be no more than a rubber stamp.”
The Lords committee also called for parliamentarians in both houses to be given access to a “wide range of documents” relating to Britain’s negotiations with the 27 other EU member states.
Around three-quarters of MPs voted Remain in June’s referendum and members from both sides of the house are concerned about the prospect of Britain leaving the European Single Market — referred to as a “hard Brexit.”
There is still a strong chance that MPs will be given the chance to vote before May even invokes Article 50.
Three of the UK’s most senior judges are set to rule whether the prime minister is legally required to pass an act of parliament before officially initiating Britain’s departure from the 28-nation bloc after a 3-day court High Court case.
Patrick Green QC, who represented the claimants, argued that triggering Article 50 without parliamentary approval would be unlawful as it would result in statutory rights being erased “with a stroke of a pen.”
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