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Urgent Question on Article 50 and Brexit

July 11, 2016

Today in Parliament MP's questioned the Government on whether the Government will seek parliamentary approval before any moves are made to invoke Article 50 and trigger Brexit.


As I have made absolutely clear, my position is that parliament is sovereign in our democracy and must therefore vote before any move is made to begin the process of Brexit.


I asked the Cabinet Office Minister John Penrose MP the following question:


"This is the biggest constitutional change for our country for half a century.


"Last week Chilcot criticised the legal processes that led to the Iraq War. He criticised the way prerogative power worked in the run up to the Iraq War. And most importantly, he criticised the fact that there was not a sufficient plan once we had completed the invasion.


"On that basis, is the Minister really saying that you should not come back to Parliament so that individual members can come to a view on whether we should trigger Article 50?"


In response, Cabinet Office Minister John Penrose MP said:


"I would draw a distinction in my reply between the question about 'whether' and 'how'. We've been very clear that the destination is not in doubt, that Brexit means Brexit. But how we get there is a matter for discussion and is a matter for Theresa May to lay out when she is in Number 10".


I am totally dissatisfied with this response, and when Theresa May replaces David Cameron as Prime Minister this Wednesday I will continue to lead the calls for the Government to seek the approval of Parliament before pulling the trigger on Article 50.




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David Lammy

From Tottenham. For Tottenham.