UK MPs move to block no-deal Brexit
UK MPs’ plans to stop a “no deal” Brexit by introducing another amendment that would allow parliament to take control of the process have been revealed.
Pro-remain Conservative former attorney general Dominic Grieve is working with allies in the opposition to block Britain crashing out of the EU with no deal.
Under his amendment, a motion to stop could be put to parliament if it is backed by more than 300 MPs, meaning any legislation to stop no deal by extending or revoking Article 50, which triggered the two-year Brexit process, would need parliamentary approval, according to Buzzfeed.
Traditionally only the government can propose legislation that changes UK policy but the executive has increasingly lost control of the Brexit process as the pro-remain majority in the House of Commons begins to assert itself.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s government said it was “vital” MPs delivered on the narrow 2016 referendum result.
The new bill is being presented by Labour’s pro-remain Yvette Cooper, former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb and others.
Cooper told the BBC: “This whole process is in a mess and the government is in danger of drifting into no deal by accident, even though that would immediately hit policing and security, impose big costs on manufacturing, industry and food.”
Former Conservative prime minister Sir John Major said May must not ignore the 48.1 per cent of people who voted to remain in the EU at the divisive 2016 referendum.
He said May should consider dropping her rigid red lines “in the national interest” and become a negotiate what parliament would accept.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has already refused to meet May for talks to discuss a way forward, unless she takes the possibility of a no-deal Brexit off the table.
The 75-year-old former premier said he feared “millions of people who don’t deserve to be hurt will be hurt” and they should be the “prime responsibility of parliament” and MPs would have “failed” if they do not act.
He said May had three options left: the cabinet decides the policy, which he conceded would not happen, parliament decides or a people’s vote is held on the issue.
The 1990-97 prime minister called on May in an “act of statesmanship” to allows MPs to hold a free vote, with loyalty to their conscience and constituents, rather than on orders from the party whips.
The case for a people’s vote becomes stronger by the day.