Britain’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Brexit Minister) David Davis says the UK Parliament must not have the power to veto the country’s referendum to withdraw from the EU.
Speaking to BBC on Sunday, Davis blasted lawmakers’ plans to change the government’s proposed bill to begin Brexit in a way that gives them more power to reject the final terms of the split.
“Please don't tie the Prime Minister [Theresa May]'s hands in the process of doing that for things which we expect to attain anyway,” he said, warning that such measures prompt concerns that Parliament intends to reverse last June' referendum to leave the bloc.
“What we can't have is either House of parliament reversing the decision of the British people,” he added.
On Wednesday, The House of Lords voted 358 to 256 for a change to May’s Brexit plan, stating she can only trigger Article 50 of the EU Treaty and begin divorce talks by promising to protect the rights of over 3 million EU citizens that reside in the country.
Government sources told British media that May would fight the new mandate once it reaches the lower house of Parliament, where the ruling Conservatives are in majority.
In an article published by The Telegraph on Sunday, Davis assured the MPs that there would be enough opportunities for them to scrutinize the process down the road.
"There will be many opportunities for Parliament to debate the ins and outs of our negotiation of a new partnership with the EU, and influence the outcome,” he wrote.
“But attaching conditions to a bill that simply allows the prime minister to start the process of implementing the referendum result is emphatically not the way to do it,” the minister further argued.
May had pledged to trigger Article 50 by the end of March, which leaves less than three weeks to begin the Brexit process and finish it in two years.
A group of MPs accused the premier earlier this week of endangering the UK’s national interest by not preparing for the “real prospect” that two years of Brexit negotiations could end in an impasse.
One UK government official involved in the discussions said the Brexit process could begin as early as Tuesday, when May is due to address the House of Commons in Parliament.