Fury as Diane Abbott hints Labour may VOTE AGAINST Article 50
Fury erupted last night when Labour Diane Abbott signalled her party could still vote against Brexit
While Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly promised to respect the outcome of the EU referendum, Ms Abbott said the party’s MPs could vote down the process unless a Government White Paper was published detailing the plans for Brexit.
Fury intensified when a fresh legal challenge to Theresa May’s plans for British withdrawal from the EU was announced.
Campaigners from British Influence will head to the High Court today to press for MPs to be given a veto over any Government decision to leave the EU’s Single Market.
Ms Abbott said: “People are very frightened about this debate on Brexit.”
Asked on the BBC Andrew Marr Show yesterday if Labour could vote against triggering Article 50, she said: “We won’t block this in a trivial way, but the really important issue is the British economy.
“If we lose access to the single market, let alone the customs union, that would be a huge blow to the British economy,” she said.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly promised to respect the outcome of the EU referendum
People are very frightened about this debate on Brexit
Tory MP Dominic Raab, a member of the Commons Exiting the European Union Committee, said: “Labour have shown that they are completely out of step with the concerns of working people.
“They don’t want to get control over immigration, and keep talking about blocking the decision the country made to leave the EU.
“Only the Conservatives can be trusted to deliver a good deal so that we make our own decisions about immigration and deliver the best possible trading arrangements for British firms, both with the EU and the rest of the world.”
British Influence claimed the push for a judicial review of the EU exit process was designed to achieve an amicable divorce settlement with Brussels rather than to block Brexit.
But critics attacked the move as yet another “vexatious” attempt to overturn the historic referendum vote to quit the EU.
They warned that staying in the Single Market could mean Britain still paying into Brussels coffers, warned that staying in the single market could mean Britain still paying into Brussels coffers, remaining bound by European Commission regulations and having to accept unlimited immigration from the EU.
Craig Mackinlay said this seems to be another attempt to frustrate the process
Tory MP Craig Mackinlay said: “This seems to be another attempt to frustrate the process and thwart the will of the British people.
“It was made clear during the referendum campaign that leaving the EU means leaving the single market.”
Mr Mackinlay thought it was possible the EU exit negotiations could lead to a new free-trade area tailored to the UK’s needs.
He added: “But it would be very unwise to bind the hands of the Prime Minister ahead of the negotiations with these vexatious legal actions,.”
Ukip leader Paul Nuttall said: “Fifty-two per cent of the British people voted to leave the EU and that means leaving the single market. That is the mandate.”
A spokesman for the Eurosceptic pressure group Change Britain said: “The only way for the Government to control immigration is to leave the EU’s single market.”
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The anger follows growing concern that Britain’s departure from the EU is becoming bogged down in legal wrangling.
Supreme Court judges are currently deliberating over a Government appeal against a High Court ruling banning the Prime Minister from activating Article 50 without parliamentary approval.
In the latest case campaigners argue that MPs and peers should vote on any decision to leave the European Economic Area – the free trade zone that includes the EU and several other nations.
The two claimants in the case, British Influence founder Peter Wilding and Tory lobbyist Adrian Yalland, were on opposite sides of the referendum divide with the former backing Remain and the latter backing Leave.
Mr Wilding yesterday said the legal challenge was not designed to stop Brexit.
He added: “Our aim is quite simple – we want to avoid the mother of all battles between the UK and the EU. We want to make Brexit simpler, quicker and better. It is a patriotic option.”
Ms Abbott said the party’s MPs could vote down the process unless a White Paper was published
Mr Wilding insisted Britain could walk away from EU agreements on agriculture and fisheries and scrap a swathe of Brussels regulations while still a member of the EEA.
He claimed EEA rules were flexible enough to allow Britain to introduce curbs on EU migration.
Mr Yalland said: “As a Brexit voter I do not believe wishing to remain in the single market is incompatible with referendum red lines on border control, legal sovereignty and budgetary contributions.
“But what is clear is despite the clear mandate to leave the EU, there is no mandate to leave the single market. The Government cannot legitimately take away people’s rights by leaving the EEA, risk damaging our economy and destabilise Europe when no one has voted for that in either a general election or a manifesto.”
Ukip leader Paul Nuttall said fifty-two per cent of the British people voted to leave the EU
Whitehall officials yesterday rejected his claims, indicating that legal advice suggested the UK would automatically quit the EEA when it left the EU.
A Government spokesman said: “The UK is party to the EEA Agree ment only in its capacity as an EU member state. Once the UK leaves the EU the EEA Agreement will automatically cease to apply to the UK.”
And fresh doubt about the Brexit process was raised when Labour’s shadow foreign secretary hinted the party could oppose the triggering of Article 50 in a Commons vote.
Published at Mon, 12 Dec 2016 00:01:00 +0000