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May backs down on Parliament vote over her Brexit terms

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Prime Minister Theresa May has accepted that Parliament should be allowed to vote on her plan for taking Britain out of the European Union, but asked lawmakers to do it in a way that gives her space to negotiate.

[LONDON] Prime Minister Theresa May has accepted that Parliament should be allowed to vote on her plan for taking Britain out of the European Union, but asked lawmakers to do it in a way that gives her space to negotiate.

Parliament will debate on Wednesday a motion from the opposition Labour Party calling for a "full and transparent debate on the government's plan for leaving the EU" and for Parliament to be able to "properly scrutinise that plan" before she begins formal talks. The request is supported by some lawmakers from Ms May's own Conservative Party.

In response, Ms May late on Tuesday tabled an amendment that effectively accepted the motion, adding that there shouldn't be an attempt to block Brexit or "undermine the negotiating position of the government".

While the concession is unlikely to stop Britain's departure it does give lawmakers in favour of maintaining close ties to the 28-nation trade bloc - probably more than half of the chamber - a tool to pressure a premier with only a slim majority in Parliament.

Against this backdrop, a London Court this week will rule whether Ms May can trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which starts an exit, without approval from her fellow lawmakers.

BLOOMBERG