Theresa May's challenge to MPs: We’ll reveal Brexit plan… but you must BACK Article 50

Theresa May's challenge to MPs: We’ll reveal Brexit plan… but you must BACK Article 50

Theresa May has set up a dramatic House of Commons showdown by challenging MPs to agree she must trigger Article 50 by the end of March next year.

The move comes as the Prime Minister bids to stave off a revolt from a group of her own Tory MPs, who are attempting to force the Government into publishing its Brexit plans.

Labour are plotting to use an opposition day debate tomorrow afternoon to pressure the Government into outlining its Brexit plans before Article 50 – the legal mechanism for quitting the EU – is invoked.

Former Tory minister Anna Soubry, a prominent Remain campaigner, yesterday revealed she could be among 40 pro-EU Conservatives to vote in favour the Labour demand.

Amid the threat of a rebellion the Government will now accept Labour’s motion.

But, in a direct challenge to Remain-supporting MPs to back their Brexit timetable, the Government will add their own amendment calling on the Commons to accept the Prime Minister must enact Article 50 by 31 March 2017.

Tory MP and leading Brexit campaigner Steve Baker said: “Every MP should respect the result by voting with the Government for this excellent amendment to trigger Article 50 on the Prime Minister’s schedule.”

Labour’s motion calls on “the Prime Minister to commit to publishing the Government’s plan for leaving the EU before Article 50 is invoked” but accepts there must be “no disclosure of material that could be reasonably judged to damage the UK in any negotiations to depart from the EU”.

The Government will now accept the Labour demand but their amendment will add: “This House will respect the wishes of the UK as expressed in the referendum on 23 June; and further calls on the Government to invoke Article 50 by 31 March 2017”.

The amendment has been proposed by Mrs May, Chancellor Philip Hammond, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Conservative chief whip Gavin Williamson.

More to follow…

Published at Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:34:00 +0000