PM ready to 'bypass' parliament
SNP warns May over early Brexit trigger plan
The SNP has warned Prime Minister Theresa May against pushing ahead with the Brexit deal without proper consultation with Scotland.
Mrs May has said she could trigger Article 50 – the mechanism for leaving the EU – without seeking Commons’ approval.
SNP Europe spokesperson Stephen Gethins said: “It is deeply worrying that Theresa May seems intent on ploughing ahead with a hard Brexit, without the approval of parliament and despite the serious damage it could do to the Scottish and UK economies.
“Just two months ago the Prime Minister pledged to govern in the interests of all nations in the UK – if that was a genuine commitment then the UK government must respect the clear wishes of the people of Scotland who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.
“The SNP is focused on protecting Scotland’s relationship with Europe, and the Scottish Government must be at the centre of negotiations.
“SNP parliamentarians would not vote for any proposal that would take Scotland out of the EU and we will resist any attempt to bypass parliament and drag Scotland out against its will.”
The Prime Minister insists “Brexit means Brexit” and that June’s referendum result gives her a mandate to by-pass Parliament.
A Downing Street source told the Daily Telegraph: “The Prime Minister has been absolutely clear that the British public have voted and now she will get on with delivering Brexit.”
Some Remain campaigners and pro-Europe MPs have clung on to the hope of using Parliament to overturn the result and claim the referendum verdict was only advisory.
Mrs May has consulted Government lawyers who have told her she has the executive power to invoke Article 50 and begin the formal process of exiting the European Union without a vote in Parliament.
Bill Cash, a eurosceptic Conservative MP and leading Brexit campaigner, said: “There were people who are threatening to try and stop Brexit. The bottom line is that here is nothing that could possibly be allowed to stand in its way.”
Former head of the civil service Sir Gus O’Donnell has claimed Brexit is not inevitable.
He told The Times that Britain must continue to have a relationship with the EU, even if it is “broader, more loosely aligned” than member status.
He said that it would take parliament “years and years” to separate fully from the bloc, raising concerns among pro-Brexit campaigners that it may never be fully realised.