Tory MP bids to legally force Government to trigger Brexit by April amid judges’ block


Prominent eurosceptic Peter Bone will this afternoon present a Bill to the House of Commons calling on the Government to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by 31 March 2017.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly promised to enact Article 50, the legal mechanism for a country’s EU departure, within the same timeframe.

But the recent shock High Court ruling requiring Theresa May to first seek Parliament’s approval over Article 50 has sparked fears her Brexit timetable could be significantly delayed.

Mr Bone insisted his Bill will mean the courts “will not be able to intervene to stop it” as he challenged fellow MPs to “go against the wishes of the British people” by objecting to it.

The Wellingborough MP’s proposed ‘Withdrawal from the European Union (Article 50) Act 2017’ would hand the Government a “duty” to inform Brussels of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the bloc under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty.

He said: “The purpose of this Bill is to instruct the Government to invoke Article 50 no later than the 31 March 2017.

“This of course is in line with Government policy and also complies with the High Court’s decision.

“It also has the advantage of happening quickly. On 16 December 2016, under the Private Members Bill procedure, the second reading will be granted unless a member objects from the floor of the House.

“As the British people have already voted decisively in a referendum for us to exit the EU, I find it hard to believe that any colleague would object to it. 

“If they did object to it they would go against the wishes of the British people and have to explain how they think their view is superior of that of the people.

He added: “If no one objects to the Bill, second reading will be granted and the Committee stage will happen shortly afterwards.

“The advantage of this Bill is Parliament will be implementing the will of the British people and the Courts will not be able to intervene to stop it”.

The Government will next week appeal the High Court’s decision in the Supreme Court, but a legal expert yesterday warned the Prime Minister she could face an overwhelming defeat in her bid to overturn the ruling.

The High Court disagreed with Mrs May’s insistence she can use ‘royal prerogative’ powers to invoke Article 50 without Parliament’s approval in order to deliver on the EU referendum result.