Commenting on today’s judgement by the Supreme Court that requires the Government to seek Parliament’s approval for the triggering of Article 50, Pat McFadden MP, leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said:
“The Government has now been defeated twice in the courts in its attempt to deny Parliament a say over invoking Article 50. The Supreme Court judgement must now be implemented.
“The Government’s Bill should be capable of proper debate and amendment. Ministers’ approach should be one that has nothing to fear from debate, rather than constantly trying to shut it down and portraying anyone who raises questions about their approach as trying to deny the will of the people.
“It is essential that Parliament is given a real voice and able to shape the negotiation outcomes, including with a meaningful vote at the end of the process.
“And parliament’s legitimate role is not just about the triggering of Article 50 – it is also about the content of the deal the Government is trying to achieve. The Prime Minister set out her objectives last week and Parliament has a critical role in scrutinising and debating the effect of her aims on the lives of our constituents, on their rights and freedoms and on their prosperity and opportunities.”
Notes to editors
The Open Britain campaign is arguing that Parliament’s future role should include:
- Requiring a vote of each House to give the Withdrawal Agreement (i.e. the conclusion of Article 50) formal consent. If the votes are lost, the UK Government should commit to extend Article 50 negotiations, taking in to account Parliament’s concerns, in order to rule out a WTO ‘cliff edge’.
- Requiring a vote of each House to give consent to the final UK-EU trade deal, which we now know the Government wants to be a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. Today’s court judgement applies only to Article 50 and not to a future FTA.
- Ensuring Parliament is regularly informed of the progress of negotiations, with genuine opportunities to scrutinise, debate and feed-in to the Government’s negotiating objectives, including through Select Committees. Such a process is in the Government’s interests, as it increases the chances of Parliamentary approval for the outcome of negotiations.