Revealing Brexit plan would harm 'national interest'

Amid legal fight, senior UK minister tells parliament exit strategy will not be revealed before Article 50 is triggered

Revealing Brexit plan would harm 'national interest'

World Bulletin / News Desk

The British government said Wednesday it could not reveal its Brexit plans, as a legal battle continued at the country’s highest court over June’s vote to leave the EU.

Standing in for Prime Minister Theresa May during parliament’s weekly questioning of the premier by lawmakers, David Lidington, Leader of the House of Commons, said it would be against the “national interest” to reveal Brexit plans.

Coming under heavy pressure from opposition lawmakers, Lidington said: “We face a very challenging, very wide-ranging negotiation and it would be harmful to the national interest for me or other ministers to engage in that sort of detailed exposition of our negotiating position.”

However, echoing May, Lidington also told parliament the British government would reveal its talks strategy before initiating the exit process from the 28-member bloc.

“We will publish, before Article 50 is triggered, a statement about our negotiating strategy and objectives as the prime minister said yesterday,” Lidington told the Commons.

Article 50 is the section of the Lisbon Treaty which deals with a member state leaving the EU.

Meanwhile, a Supreme Court hearing on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU continued, as the government sought to avoid having to secure parliamentary consent on exit negotiations.

The government is challenging last month’s High Court ruling that parliament must be consulted before Article 50 is triggered.

Prime Minister May has insisted her administration will trigger legislation before the end of March by using “prerogative powers”.

However, the High Court said only parliament can make changes that would affect laws passed in the 1972 European Communities Act which led to the U.K. joining the European Economic Community, the forerunner to the EU.

Earlier on Wednesday, the BBC public broadcaster reported that a man was arrested after making alleged online threats to Gina Miller, an investor who opened the original case at the High Court. 

The man from Swindon filed online abuse from Nov. 3, the police said in a statement, the BBC reported.

Last Mod: 07 Aralık 2016, 17:41
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