U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet concluded there’s no need to hold a parliamentary vote before beginning the formal process for pulling Britain out of the European Union, with ministers saying they want to “push ahead” with Brexit.
Though opponents of Britain leaving the EU are going to court to argue that Parliament should hold a vote on the triggering of Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, cabinet ministers agreed on Wednesday that such a move is unnecessary. That’s been the government’s position since the country voted to leave the EU on June 23 — lawmakers were told last month that it’s within the administration’s “prerogative power” — but this is the first time it has been stated so explicitly by May’s office. On Tuesday, her spokesman said Parliament would be allowed “a say.”
“There was a strong emphasis on pushing ahead to Article 50 to lead Britain successfully out of the European Union — with no need for a parliamentary vote,” May’s office said in an e-mailed statement after a meeting at Chequers, the premier’s country residence northwest of London.
The statement also rejected the idea that the semi-autonomous governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland might have a decisive input, even though May has begun consultations with them on Brexit. “Cabinet members were clear that it is the United Kingdom’s government’s decision to establish its terms and on when to trigger Article 50,” the premier’s office said. Scottish and Northern Irish voters both backed staying in the bloc.