Brexit Secretary David Davis says MPs will not get a vote on Article 50

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The Government will ignore calls for MPs to vote on the triggering of Article 50, Brexit Secretary David Davis has said.

Theresa May has come under growing pressure to allow MPs a vote on Brexit, with a former attorney general warning that the Government was likely to fall if it attempts to push a deal through without the approval of the Commons.

Labour has accused the Government of seeking to "sideline" Parliament. Its shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, has demanded a debate and vote in Parliament on the Government's negotiating stance before the two-year withdrawal process is triggered early next year under Article 50 of the EU treaties.

In a statement to MPs, Mr Davis said that the referendum vote for Brexit was "clear, overwhelming and unarguable" and that "no-one should seek to find ways to thwart the will of the people".

Mr Davis told Sir Keir: "Article 50 is a prerogative power in view of all the lawyers we have spoken to, it's a prerogative power in the view of the Attorney General, who will be presenting the case in court in the coming week, and it will be decided in court.

"It will be decided in court, which you ought to take seriously."

He added Sir Keir has to understand the difference between accountability and "micromanagement", adding this is what Labour is trying to do.

Pro-Leave Conservative backbencher Stephen Phillips said that the use of prerogative powers to push a deal through without parliamentary approval would amount to "tyranny". The Sleaford and North Hykeham MP was given permission by Commons Speaker John Bercow to seek MPs' backing for an urgent debate on the issue on Tuesday.

In a letter to the Speaker, Mr Phillips said that bypassing Parliament was "simply not an acceptable way for the executive to proceed", adding: "I and many others did not exercise our vote in the referendum so as to restore the sovereignty of this Parliament only to see what we regarded as the tyranny of the European Union replaced by that of a Government that apparently wishes to ignore the views of the House on the most important issue facing the nation."

Mr Davis said that a Great Repeal Bill to scrap the 1972 Act which took Britain into what was then the European Economic Community would be tabled in the next parliamentary session, which begins in May 2017. The Bill will transpose all relevant EU law into the domestic statute book, so that it can then be amended or repealed by Parliament where necessary.

But the shadow Brexit secretary demanded a vote before Mrs May invokes Article 50, which she has said she will do before the end of March 2017.

"It seems the Government wants to draw up negotiating terms, negotiate and reach a deal without any parliamentary approval," said Sir Keir in response to Mr Davis' statement. "That is not making Parliament sovereign. That is sidelining Parliament.

"That is why Labour is calling for a vote on the basic terms proposed by the Government before Article 50 is invoked."

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