Europe & UK

November 09, 2016

British PM Theresa May Promises Full Exit From EU Despite Legal Challenge


Counteracting to her Brexit strategy’s critics (who threatened to try to block the process in the parliament), British Prime Minister Theresa May said that she would deliver a full exit from the European Union. The government's plans to begin a two-year divorce process were disarrayed when a court ruled that the parliament must be consulted on the decision. However, May said that she is confident of overturning that ruling.

Nevertheless, the prospect of a parliamentary vote enraged eurosceptic lawmakers who fear that the “hard Brexit” they want will be watered-down and emboldened political opponents who want a less radical split from the bloc.

In the Sunday Telegraph, a British broadsheet newspaper, May stated that she would resist any attempt to force her to change her approach to leaving the EU, a break that was approved by 52% of Britons in a referendum in June. May wrote that "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."

She said that Britain's negotiating position would weaken if she reveals her strategy for the talks and that the members of the parliament who regretted the referendum result "need to accept what the people decided."

Jeremy Corbyn, head of Britain's opposition Labour Party, said that he would vote against the commencement of divorce talks with the EU if the government does not agree to his Brexit demands. Later, he tweeted that he would not try to block the process.

May's government, which has given little information about its plans for Britain's future relationship with the EU, said that having to set out a detailed negotiating strategy to the parliament would put it at a disadvantage in the talks.

Prior to leaving for the trade visit to India, May said that "While others seek to tie our negotiating hands, the government will get on with the job of delivering the decision of the British people."

Certain lawmakers and newspapers were displeased with the court ruling. Minister Sajid Javid called it an "unacceptable" attempt to "frustrate the will of the British people," while the Daily Mail, a British daily conservative, middle-market tabloid newspaper, said that the three judges who wrote the ruling were "enemies of the people."

May said that she believed in the value of the independence of the judiciary as well as a free press. While on the plane to India, she told reporters that "These both underpin our democracy and they are important."

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