British Prime Minister Theresa May is being accused of displaying a monarch-like arrogance over her reported intention to deny a parliamentary vote on Brexit before beginning the formal process of pulling the United Kingdom out of the European Union (EU).
May is allegedly planning to prevent Members of Parliament from voting on the decision to leave the EU before Article 50, the legislation that will trigger the UK’s formal exit from the bloc, is triggered, reports The Guardian. There has been a post-referendum debate over whether the result is merely advisory, as the act that created it did not specify whether the result would be binding.
Some have argued a vote should be held in parliament to ratify the result. Reportedly, May had been told by government lawyers that she did not need parliamentary approval to trigger the procedure, but it is believed she could face legal challenges over the decision. The vast majority of MPs – up to 480 – and most peers in the House of Lords have opposed the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Owen Smith, who is challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour Party, suggested that May would avoid a parliamentary debate because there was insufficient support for Brexit. “Theresa May is clearly running scared from parliamentary scrutiny of her Brexit negotiations.
She’s looked at the numbers and she knows she might not win a vote in parliament,” he said. Tottenham Labour MP David Lammy, who has been campaigning for a second referendum over Brexit, tweeted that the plans were a “stitch-up”, adding that, “In our democracy, parliament is sovereign and must vote ahead of any decision to Brexit.” May came to power after elected British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned post the win of the Brexit vote.
Cameron had urged people to vote in favour of staying with the EU but was left distraught by the narrow 52 percent vote win to leave the grouping.