Howlin says UK Prime Minister needs to demonstrate her mandate on Brexit

01 June 2018

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin has queried the value of further discussions with the British Government on its Brexit strategy without evidence that that strategy has the support of the House of Commons.

Deputy Howlin said:

“Mrs May’s Government is currently seeking to engage with the European Union on its various Brexit scenarios, while in full flight from parliamentary scrutiny at Westminster.

“The UK Government is yet to seek support from the House of Commons on the Lords’ amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill, the Trade Bill or the Customs Bill.

“It is also unclear whether the floated proposal for Northern Ireland to straddle the EU and UK has serious backing in London.

“The Irish Government and the EU has made it clear that we need to see sufficient progress on the issue of the Irish border by June.

“Equally importantly we should insist that whatever is proposed from the British Government in June commands the support of the UK’s elected representatives.

“From what we can see, there appears to be a parliamentary majority for the UK staying in the Customs Union, not leaving it, although the support of the absent seven Irish MPs would make that all the clearer.

“Mrs May now appears to be negotiating beyond her mandate. The only way the British Government can dispel such concerns is by proceeding with at least some of these measures through the House of Commons.”

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