Hartlepool MP Iain Wright backs judges’ decision on Brexit vote

Iain Wright
Iain Wright

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright has welcomed a ruling that Parliament will have the ultimate say on Brexit.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by ministers against a High Court judgment blocking their decision to begin Britain’s exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say.

Supreme Court justices ruled, by a majority of eight to three, that Prime Minister Theresa May cannot lawfully bypass MPs and peers by using the Royal Prerogative to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and start the two-year process of negotiating the UK’s divorce from its EU partners.

The ruling is a blow to Mrs May, who has repeatedly said she intends to trigger Article 50 by the end of March following the clear majority in favour of Brexit in the June 2016 referendum.

It was won by a wide-ranging group of anti-Article 50 campaigners led by investment manager Gina Miller, 51, and hairdresser Deir Dos Santos.

Mr Wright said the ruling had reiterated what had been one of the central planks of the Leave campaign.

“The Supreme Court has provided legal confirmation that, under the terms of the UK constitution, the Government cannot invoke Article 50 without the approval of Parliament,” he said.

“This confirms the importance of parliamentary democracy to stop the Government from imposing its will on any subject, not just about Brexit, without the scrutiny of Parliament.

“This should please those people who were concerned about “taking back control” from the European Union.

“The ruling seemed obvious, which then begs the question as to why the Prime Minister wasted time and taxpayers’ money on appealing against the Supreme Court judgment.

“Although Parliament gives formal scrutiny and then approval for the Government to invoke Article 50 and start the process for Britain to leave the EU, I don’t believe Parliament should attempt to overturn the result of the referendum.

“The majority of people who voted in the referendum wanted Britain to leave. That decision should be respected and Parliament should not frustrate the process for invoking Article 50.”

North East MEP Jonathan Arnott said: “I fully accept that this result has gone against my views, and now it is the responsibility of our Westminster Parliament to enact the will of the British people and get us out of the European Union. Just as I must accept the result of this court case, so too must our MPs and Lords accept the result of the referendum.

“I call upon Parliament now to pass legislation for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union as a matter of extreme urgency.”