British Prime Minister Theresa May has refused to give any commitment about giving MPs a vote on Brexit. Mrs May was repeatedly pressed on the issue by Labour’s Hilary Benn, who is the chair of parliament’s Brexit committee, but remained tightlipped, indicating that MPs in Britain will not get a vote on a final deal negotiated by the government following the triggering of Article 50.
She said that parliament would have lots of opportunities to comment on and discuss arrangements for leaving Europe. However Mr Benn said she wasn’t properly answering the question.
Mrs May then appeared to become exasperated by the repeated questions, insisting that her main priority was to make sure she carried out the wishes of the British people, who had voted to leave the EU.
She said that to say parliament was being hampered was simply not the case, adding that the government had made statements to parliament, that there would be ongoing debates in parliament and also the great repeal bill to take Britain out of Europe. Mrs May said parliament would continue to be informed and involved in discussions, but she added: “We will not be setting out on an hour by hour basis a running commentary.”
Pushed by Andrew Tyrie, her Tory colleague and the chair of the Treasury committee, to give a definitive answer, she simply replied: “I gave the answer I gave, my chairman.”
Mrs May’s comments were immediately seen as a ‘no’ and she came under fire from Labour and Lib Dem politicians. Shadow Brexit secretary keir Starmer said it was both extraordinary and unacceptable that MPs would not get a vote, given that MEPs would.
Meanwhile, Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman Tom Brake said that it would be absurd if the UK parliament and the British public did not get a say on a final deal thrashed out over the next two years.