EU Referendum result needs parliamentary approval

I wrote to my MP to urge that the decision to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to withdraw the UK from the EU be subject to the appropriate parliamentary approval, whether by a vote in parliament or a general election.

Parliament is sovereign, the EU referendum is advisory and the result was incredibly tight, showing a nation clearly divided. Reports suggest many now regret their protest vote, and more may come to do so as the specious promises of the Leave campaigners become apparent, along with the true implications. Many are calling for a second referendum with higher thresholds. While I have signed the petition and would welcome the opportunity, I do not believe it is the best answer.

The matter of EU membership is too complicated to be determined by such a simple instrument. The UK has a representative democracy; we cannot ignore the result, but the present government campaigned to remain, with no clear plan for withdrawal, and nor has such as plan been debated in parliament.

According to the BBC only around 25% of MPs supported the Leave campaign, and even in the ruling Tory party, 60% supported Remain. At the last general election, the only party standing on that promise was the UK Independence Party, which returned a single MP.

This matter is too great to be left to a newly appointed leader of a Conservative government that did not campaign for this result, and whose direction may differ from the government of today.

Therefore I would urge that unless a general election is held whereby the winning party has a clear plan for withdrawal, that the full implications of this decision should be debated and approved by parliament before invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Update 27 June

According to Geoffrey Robinson QC, the government will need to go to parliament at some point, because it will need to repeal the repeal the 1972 European Communities Act.

You can find your MP’s contact details to make your views known here: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

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