May set for MP battle over Brexit vote

MPs from across the political spectrum have joined calls for a parliamentary vote on the terms of the UK leaving the European Union, despite the Prime Minister insisting such efforts will not “thwart the will of the British people.”

In an escalating row, prominent MPs including former Labour leader Ed Miliband and former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have demanded the House of Commons has a say on the terms of the UK’s departure. Their efforts have been joined by newly appointed Shadow Brexit Minister Sir Keir Starmar, and former Conservative ministers Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry

Sir Keir claimed during a weekend interview that the Prime Minister was trying to “manoeuvre without any scrutiny,” although also insisted the result of the June referendum must be accepted. Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Sir Keir also suggested the referendum did not hand the Prime Minister a “blank cheque” in negotiations, with suggestions Mrs May favours a so-called ‘hard’ Brexit. Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also said it would “not be remotely acceptable” to deny MPs a say in any Brexit deal.

Despite the growing calls for a parliamentary vote, the Prime Minister has continued to indicate she is unwilling to meet MPs demands. Downing Street officials instead claimed the efforts to force a parliamentary vote are intended to block the UK’s departure from the EU.

The demands for a parliamentary vote show no signs of abating, and if granted could substantially influence the UK’s negotiating position ahead of the triggering of Article 50 by March 2017. Mrs May has also faced warnings from business leaders including the CBI that she risks “closing the door” on an open economy with her approach to Brexit and immigration policy.