LONDON, British Prime Minister Theresa May conceded the need to answer questions by the parliamentary opposition over Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Her government accepted a motion by the Labor Party to give parliament members more input in British strategy for leaving the EU, before Article 50, the triggering mechanism for withdrawal, is used in March 2017. The Labor party challenged the government to respond to what it calls 170 in-depth questions about the withdrawal, promoted as one for every day before the deadline.
Although the government’s concession does not specify parliament members will vote on Article 50, or on any government deal regarding the Brexit, it means a debate on the issue will occur in Parliament, and suggests the legislators must broadly approve of Britain’s negotiating position before Article 50 is invoked. The Labor Party has called for “full and transparent” scrutiny of the deal by Parliament.
The Labor Party will not let ministers “go into a locked room and come out with some plan they want to keep secret,” Labor MP Emily Thornberry told BBC’s Radio 4.
The party’s 170 questions concern a range of issues regarding how Britain’s exit from the EU will impact the country. May has refused to disclose details of her discussions with the EU, saying a running commentary on her government’s negotiating plans will not be provided. She also has insisted Parliament will not be given an opportunity to vote on how to invoke the start of the withdrawal process, saying it is her government’s prerogative.
By Ed Adamczyk