Caroline Lucas: I will not vote to trigger Brexit if deal is not right

CAROLINE Lucas will vote against Brexit if the deal is not right for her constituents.

The Green MP told The Argus she would defy the referendum result if a Brexit deal threatened the economy, environment or safety of Brighton residents.

Her comments come after a High Court decision yesterday stated MPs will get a vote on starting the formal process to leave the EU.

But the ruling has split Sussex MPs with Simon Kirby, for Brighton Kemptown, describing it as "disappointing" while Maria Caulfield, for Lewes, said giving MPs the decisive say would be a “slap in the face” to millions of leave voters.


 Ms Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said she will look at the legislation and vote on its merits.

She said she was respecting the referendum result by not "just blocking anything" adding: "I will look at what is being proposed in terms of access to the single market, freedom of movement, social and environmental protections.

"These are the things that people in Brighton Pavilion care about and have made strong representations to me about."

She added: “Most of my constituents didn’t vote to leave the EU – and I’ll be sure to give them a strong voice in Parliament standing up for the many benefits of EU membership.”

High Court judges ruled the Government did not have the power “under the Crown's prerogative” to trigger article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Leave campaigners have warned the vote could delay Brexit by months although Theresa May said she had “no intention” of allowing the judgement to derail the process.

It is not clear exactly what MPs will be asked to vote on: if it will be a simple yes or no or based on terms of exit brought forward by the Prime Minister.

Ms Lucas said she spent yesterday unsuccessfully trying to find out.

A statement is planned for the Commons on Monday to clarify the matter.

The Prime Minister had hoped to trigger article 50 in March with the Government's Supreme Court appeal expected to be heard on December 7 and 8.

 South East MEP Nigel Farage warned “a betrayal may be near at hand” and said further blocking and delaying could unleash mass public anger.

Speaking ahead of the decision, Lewes MP Maria Caulfield said the clear Leave victory by more than one million votes should be respected.

Ms Caulfield said: “People will feel it is a right slap in the face if Parliament gets to vote on article 50 especially as most MPs voted for remain.

“The Prime Minister has set up the Brexit select committee, there have been debates in Parliament and the British Repeal Act to come so Parliament will have plenty of opportunities to discuss exit from the EU.”

Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby said he was “disappointed” by the court’s judgment.

He added: “Although I personally voted to remain, the country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by an Act of Parliament and we should respect the result of the referendum.”

Hove MP Peter Kyle welcomed yesterday's news stating it was only right that Parliament has its say.
Source: The Argus

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