Greater Lincolnshire MPs have said that they will vote to trigger Article 50 in Parliament despite differences in opinion on the Supreme Court’s Brexit ruling.
The Supreme Court ruled on January 24 that both the House of Commons and House of Lords must have a vote on whether the government can start the Brexit process.
Judges voted eight to three against the government, who were appealing the decision made by the High Court in November that the government does not have the power to begin negotiations to leave the European Union without parliamentary approval.
A government spokesperson said that the judgement did not change the timetable for triggering Article 50 – the process by which the UK begins its formal departure from the EU – by the end of March.
The right decision
Great Grimsby MP Melanie Onn said that the court’s decision was the right one.
Despite this, the Remain supporter said that she would vote to trigger Article 50 in Parliament.
The Labour MP said that she would also consider tabling an amendment to protect workers’ rights after Brexit.
She said: “I campaigned strongly for Remain, but Britain voted to leave the European Union and it would be wrong for MPs to stop that from happening.
“The court’s decision today is the right one. One of the main arguments of the Leave campaign was the need to restore our Parliament’s sovereignty, so it would be odd if the process for leaving the European Union was done in a way which circumvented our Parliament.
“Parliament’s role now is to make sure that the government get the best deal from Brexit.
“I will continue to focus on protecting workers’ rights and holding the government to their promises on the fishing industry.
“I am currently consulting with the House of Commons clerks on the possibility of tabling an amendment to this vote to protect workers’ rights after Brexit.
“Although people did vote to leave the EU, I don’t think anyone was voting to be less safe at work or less secure in their job.”
In the neighbouring Cleethorpes constituency, Conservative MP Martin Vickers unsurprisingly had a different view on the decision, describing the judgement as “regrettable.”
He said: “Whilst the Supreme Court judgement is regrettable it won’t change the government’s determination to trigger Article 50 by the end of March.
“Parliament will vote on the issue and all indications are that it will receive a comfortable majority.
“What it will do is flush out the Labour and Lib Dem members who intend to vote against the wishes of their constituents.
“This will be a further indication of the contempt that Labour and the Lib Dems have for the electorate.”
General election if negotiations threatened
Sitting next to Vickers in Parliament on Tuesday, January 24 was the veteran Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh, who said that the bill should be brief and the outcome simple.
Speaking in the House of Commons to Brexit Secretary David Davis, the Conservative MP for over three decades said: “If the opposition parties combine to constrain the government’s negotiating hand, for instance by insisting on staying in the single market, which would mean effectively remaining in the EU, is he aware that many of us believe that in those circumstances we should have an immediate general election?”
Taking back control means asserting parliamentary sovereignty
Labour MP for Scunthorpe Nic Dakin welcomed the judgement of the Supreme Court.
He said: “Taking back control means asserting parliamentary sovereignty. So it is right and proper that Parliament is involved in the process of exiting the EU.
“The government now needs to bring a Bill forward to trigger Article 50 without delay which I am confident will be passed through Parliament.
“I respect the will of the British people and the views of my constituents so will be supporting the government when it brings that Bill forward.
“The Prime Minister began to sketch out what the UK’s new relationship with Europe might look like in her speech last week.
“It is important that, as the new relationship becomes clearer, it is one that takes advantages of the opportunity of change without risking the jobs and wellbeing of local people.
“I will be particularly keen to ensure the best possible deal for steel, food and other areas of business important locally.
“The hard work of creating a prosperous future has just begun!”