Jeremy Corbyn promises not to block Brexit

Written by Martin Banks on 7 November 2016 in News

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not stand in the way of Britain exiting the EU.

Jeremy Corbyn | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual

Speaking on Sunday, Corbyn said he would vote against the triggering of article 50 unless the UK government gives guarantees on access to the single market for exporters, continued protection of workers' rights, safeguards for consumers and the environment, and pledges that Britain would make up any loss of EU capital investment. 

However, he later tweeted that he would not try to block Brexit.

His comments come as UK Prime Minister Theresa May signalled she would resist any attempt to force her to change her approach to leaving the EU. 


"The people made their choice, and did so decisively. It is the responsibility of the government to get on with the job and to carry out their instruction in full," May said on Sunday.

Speaking on a trade mission to India, she said revealing her strategy for the talks would weaken Britain's negotiating position and that members of Parliament who regretted the referendum result "need to accept what the people decided."

May's remarks follow the UK High Court ruling last week that MPs and peers must have a vote ahead of the government triggering official talks with the EU.

The campaigner who brought the case said it had given "clarity".

But the judges who ruled on Thursday that the government must seek MPs' approval to invoke article 50 of the Lisbon treaty have been criticised in some newspapers, the Daily Mail calling them "enemies of the people".

Meanwhile, Ukip MEP Nigel Farage is planning to lead a 100,000-strong march to the Supreme Court to coincide with the start of the government's attempt to stop any delay in triggering article 50. 

The party's interim leader said he will lead the march on the same day the court rules on the government's legal battle to push through article 50 without parliamentary consent.

The protest will start in London's Trafalgar Square and end in Parliament Square, within sight of the court where the judges will be hearing the case, which is due to start on 5 December.

It is reported that government law officers have briefed ministers that they will probably lose their Supreme Court appeal against the High Court ruling.

UK government ministers are also thought to be considering plans to fast-track parliamentary approval for Brexit if the Supreme Court refuses the government's appeal. 

Under this plan, the government would present Parliament with a resolution, rather than a full bill.


About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

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