Members of Parliament have repeated their call for the government to publish its plan for Brexit in a formal policy document. A number of Conservative MPs have joined Labour in asking for a White Paper on the government's negotiating objectives, arguing it will allow for a fuller debate on Brexit.
The calls come after the Supreme Court ruled MPs must vote on whether the government can start the Brexit process. It is thought a Brexit bill could be introduced as early as Thursday. More than half a dozen Conservative MPs including some ex-ministers are calling for a Brexit White Paper to be published in the coming days.
Downing Street, while not explicitly ruling out a White Paper, has stressed that Prime Minister Theresa May has already set out her plan for Brexit.
Labour is warning it is prepared to engage in hand-to-hand combat in Parliament to ensure the process of leaving the EU is fully scrutinized. The party says it will not oppose Article 50 but will try to amend the law.
The Scottish government, meanwhile, will set out its official response to the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on Wednesday. In the Supreme Court on Tuesday, the 11 justices ruled that the UK government was not legally bound to take the views of the Scottish Parliament and other devolved administrations into account when triggering Article 50.
But amid reports that the Scottish Parliament could hold a vote on the issue anyway, former First Minister Alex Salmond told BBC's Newsnight if its reasonable proposals - which include continued access for Scottish firms to the single market - were not listened to, there could be another independence referendum within two years.
The Supreme Court ruled that the government must seek Parliament's authorization, in the form of legislation, before it could notify the EU of its intention to leave. Theresa May wants to invoke Article 50 - the formal process for leaving the EU - by the end of March, and is seeking the approval of MPs and peers well before that date.
With nearly all Tory MPs expected to back the government, the bill is likely to pass although Labour is seeking guarantees in a number of areas while a handful of Tory MPs - including former ministers Anna Soubry, Alistair Burt and Nicky Morgan - are pressing for an explicit commitment for an official document setting out the UK's aims.
Brexit Secretary David Davis said in Parliament on Tuesday that he believed Mrs May's speech last week - in which she set out plans to leave the single market and customs union - was sufficient, but Tory whips are reported to have met potential rebels on Tuesday to discuss their concerns.
Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!
White paper this week.Jan 25th, 2017 - 08:43 pm 0