Theresa May has defended her plan to keep key details of the EU exit negotiations secret from Britain’s Parliament.
The Prime Minister said that though MPs would be informed at “various stages”, they would not be privy to precisely what her negotiators were doing.
Last month Brexit Secretary David Davis told a Parliamentary Committee that he would “not be able to tell you everything, even in private”.
The approach is a stark contrast to the course being set by the EU, with plans reportedly being formed to keep the European Parliament informed with regular updates.
Questioned on the secrecy ahead of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, the Prime Minister said transparency could jepordise Britain’s negotiating position.
“First of all, of course parliament will be involved in this process. The Great Repeal Bill, Parliament will be having its say on that,” she told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
“Of course at various stages we will be keeping parliament informed. This is not about keeping silent for two years but its about making sure that we are able to negotiate, that we don’t set out all the cards in our negotiation.
“Because as anybody will know who’s been involved in these things, if you do that up front, or if you give a running commentary you don’t get the right deal. What I’m determined to do is get the right deal for Britain.”
Her defence comes as the PM sets out the timescale for the triggering of Article 50. Ms May said she would start negotiations sometime in the first quarter of 2017 – no earlier and no later.
What experts have said about Brexit
What experts have said about Brexit
1/11 Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
The Chancellor claims London can still be a world financial hub despite Brexit “One of Britain’s great strengths is the ability to offer and aggregate all of the services the global financial services industry needs” “This has not changed as a result of the EU referendum and I will do everything I can to ensure the City of London retains its position as the world’s leading international financial centre.”
2/11 Yanis Varoufakis
Greece's former finance minister compared the UK relations with the EU bloc with a well-known song by the Eagles: “You can check out any time you like, as the Hotel California song says, but you can't really leave. The proof is Theresa May has not even dared to trigger Article 50. It's like Harrison Ford going into Indiana Jones' castle and the path behind him fragmenting. You can get in, but getting out is not at all clear”
3/11 Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss says UK will be ‘screwed’ by EU in Brexit trade deals: “I have no faith in the politicians in London going on about how ‘the world will want to trade with us’. The world will want to screw you – that's what happens in trade talks,” he said. “They have no interest in giving the UK a deal on trade”
4/11 Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon's chairman has said claims that the UK would see serious economic consequences from a Brexit vote were "lurid" and wrong: “We were told it would be Armageddon from the OECD, from the IMF, David Cameron, the chancellor and President Obama who were predicting locusts in the fields and tidal waves in the North Sea"
5/11 Mark Carney
Governor of Bank of England is 'serene' about Bank of England's Brexit stance: “I am absolutely serene about the … judgments made both by the MPC and the FPC”
6/11 Christine Lagarde
IMF chief urges quick Brexit to reduce economic uncertainty: “We want to see clarity sooner rather than later because we think that a lack of clarity feeds uncertainty, which itself undermines investment appetites and decision making”
7/11 Inga Beale
Lloyd’s chief executive says Brexit is a major issue: "Clearly the UK's referendum on its EU membership is a major issue for us to deal with and we are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd's continues trading across Europe”
8/11 Colm Kelleher
President of US bank Morgan Stanley says City of London ‘will suffer’ as result of the EU referendum: “I do believe, and I said prior to the referendum, that the City of London will suffer as result of Brexit. The issue is how much”
9/11 Richard Branson
Virgin founder believes we've lost a THIRD of our value because of Brexit and cancelled a deal worth 3,000 jobs: We're not any worse than anybody else, but I suspect we've lost a third of our value which is dreadful for people in the workplace.' He continued: "We were about to do a very big deal, we cancelled that deal, that would have involved 3,000 jobs, and that’s happening all over the country"
10/11 Barack Obama
US President believes Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU: "It is absolutely true that I believed pre-Brexit vote and continue to believe post-Brexit vote that the world benefited enormously from the United Kingdom's participation in the EU. We are fully supportive of a process that is as little disruptive as possible so that people around the world can continue to benefit from economic growth"
11/11 Kristin Forbes
American economist and an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England argues that the economy had been “less stormy than many expected” following the shock referendum result: “For now…the economy is experiencing some chop, but no tsunami. The adverse winds could quickly pick up – and merit a stronger policy response. But recently they have shifted to a more favourable direction”
She also this morning outlined details of a so-called Great Repeal Bill that would by Act of Parliament confirm that EU law no longer applied to the UK.
Ms May will speak alongside her Brexit cabinet ministers at Tory conference this afternoon, on the subject of leaving the EU.
She will also address the annual gathering again on Wednesday in a closing keynote speech.Reuse content