David Davis warns Lords bid to allow Parliament to control Brexit would spark constitutional crisis
The Brexit Secretary also says the new powers demanded by peers could be used by them and Remain supporting MPs to overturn the referendum result and keep Britain in the EU.
Mr Davis issues the double warning in an article for The Sun today ahead of the upper house’s vote on Monday.
It is the Lords’ biggest Brexit showdown against the Government yet.
If the vote on an amendment demanding the powers succeeds, Mrs May will be effectively cut out of the negotiation as the EU stalls her to deal directly with Parliament instead, Mr Davis also insists.
The Cabinet minister describes the ploy as “a fundamental change to the balance of our constitution” and brands it “both unprecedented and unworkable”.
He adds: “The Government represents the country in international negotiations, not Parliament”.
Mr Davis continues: “At best it undermines the Government’s ability to reach a good deal with the EU: seeking to insert bogus timetables and allow MPs to micromanage the negotiation.
“At worst, it could reverse the British people’s decision and keep us in the EU.”
That would be “a dereliction of our duty as parliamentarians to serve the people of the United Kingdom”, he also argues.
Mr Davis also argues that setting Parliamentary road blocks for the PM during the talks “would give the EU Commission a clear incentive to delay the negotiations or present unacceptable propositions until the deadline has passed, and the Government is stripped of its ability to negotiate freely”.
In the amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, peers want to force a binding vote on the draft final deal before it is agreed with the EU.
They then want the government to follow MPs and lords’ instructions in talks with Brussels.
The amendment has been tabled by a cross party group of peers, including former Tory minister Lord Hailsham.
But it has the backing of Labour as well as the Lib Dems.
The Government has already lost a series of Brexit votes in the Lords over the last two weeks, and fears the worst tonight with the help of another rebellion by pro-EU Tory peers.
The Commons can still overturn the Lords’ decision, but as many as 20 pro-EU Tory MPs may vote with Labour to uphold it.
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