Sir Keir Starmer has today written to David Davis to demand the Government sets out its proposed timetable for leaving the EU.
In the letter the shadow Brexit Secretary says that “the House of Commons will need time properly to scrutinise the plans” and that MPs should not be kept in the dark about the process. Starmer says that the Brexit select committee, which will be chaired by Labour big beast Hilary Benn after yesterday’s election, will also need to scrutinise the plans.
Theresa May has indicated that she will trigger Article 50, which would give the UK two years to leave the EU, in March next year – but during PMQs yesterday, indicated that the process could take “two years or more”, throwing that timetable into doubt.
“I am writing to you today to urge you to outline the Government’s intended timetable for publishing its basic plans for Brexit,” Starmer writes in the letter to Brexit Secretary Davis.
“Since the House of Commons will need time properly to scrutinise the plans and, no doubt, the House of Commons Brexit Select Committee along with the devolved administrations will want to do the same, I assume the plans will be made available no later than January 2017. Could you confirm that this will be the case or specify another date upon which the Government proposes to publish its plans.
He also confirms “that Labour will be pressing for a vote in Government time in the House of Commons on its plans for exiting the EU. Time for a vote and full debate therefore also needs to be built into the Government’s timetable; our economy, businesses and jobs depend upon it.”