Last night the House of Commons voted 498 votes to 114 in favour of the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, brought in following a ruling of the Supreme Court on January 24th. The Court accepted that the Prime Minister has ‘royal prerogative powers’ in respect of international relations, but came to a majority conclusion that Parliament must be consulted on Brexit due to its impact on UK domestic law. After two days of debate the Bill authorising the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50 (notice of the UK’s intention to leave the EU), passed its Second Reading and will now enter into detailed scrutiny before coming back to the Commons on 8th March for a final vote. The House of Lords will also debate the Bill.
The Island’s MP Andrew Turner said:
“In 1975, as a member of the public I voted against our membership of the Common Market. Last night, as the Island’s MP I was proud to support the decision of the British people who voted to Leave the European Union. This is something I have believed in for many years.
“Many Remain MPs last night honourably voted to respect the referendum result. Our Prime Minister is one, and to be fair so is the Leader of the Opposition, The Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn, I respect them for that. However, I cannot understand the position of MPs who voted to have a referendum, but against the result, that included some Labour, most Lib-Dems and the sole Green MP. Democracy is accepting the majority will of the people, not asking them a question and ignoring them if you don’t like the answer.”
Commenting on suggestions that the Bill will run into trouble in the later Commons stages or in the Lords Mr Turner said:
“Amendments intended to derail the Bill were overturned by a large majority in the Commons last night. It’s not true to say that MPs ‘are all Brexiteers now’, but the vast majority rightly accept the outcome of the democratic process. The Conservative Party manifesto, on which we were elected to govern, promised that we would respect the result of the referendum. That is what will happen. Of course the Lords have a right to take a view, but in the end the position of the elected House of Commons will prevail. It is right to have parliamentary scrutiny of the process, but Parliament has no veto on Brexit; the point of no return was when the result of the referendum was announced.”