Parliament 'will have role in exit trigger'

LONDON • The next British leader will have to decide when to officially trigger the process of leaving the European Union but Parliament will have a role to play, said Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman yesterday.

Her comments came as a top London law firm, Mishcon de Reya, on behalf of a group of anonymous clients, started legal action to demand legislative approval from Parliament before Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty can be triggered to begin formal negotiations to leave the bloc.

Also for the next prime minister, the spokesman said, was working out as part of Brexit negotiations the future status of EU nationals living in Britain.

She said the government had taken steps to reassure EU citizens in Britain that there would not be any immediate changes to their circumstances following last month's referendum vote to leave the bloc.

"There are a whole range of complex issues including this one which will need to be worked out," she said.

Conservative MPs are due to begin voting today to begin whittling from five to two the number of candidates vying to replace Mr Cameron, who resigned after the Brexit vote last month.

One contender, Ms Andrea Leadsom, has predicted that Europe will choose to give Britain tariff-free trade during the negotiations to leave the EU, although she added that freedom of movement with the bloc will end.

Ms Leadsom backed the campaign to leave the EU and said that European leaders would be pragmatic in their approach and would choose to maintain trade links.

"I intend to keep the negotiations as short as possible," Ms Leadsom said yesterday, becoming the final candidate to detail her leadership platform. "Neither we nor our European friends need prolonged uncertainty."

Meanwhile, launching a bid for the Labour Party leadership yesterday, lawmaker Angela Eagle said she had the necessary support to trigger a challenge to current opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has refused to quit despite a majority of lawmakers in his own party passing a motion of no confidence in him.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2016, with the headline 'Parliament 'will have role in exit trigger''. Print Edition | Subscribe