Peer calls for Government to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 rather than go “cap in hand to Brussels for permission to leave”
The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, has welcomed the result of the referendum but has some strong words of advice for the Government about how to take Britain out of the EU.
Lord Stoddart said: “What wonderful people the British are to have resisted all the threats, the denigration of their country by their own rulers, big business, big bureaucracy and intervention by arrogant foreign leaders. Despite all this intimidation they still voted to get their country back. We must now ensure that they are not betrayed again by their leaders.
“The first step in this should be for the Government to introduce a bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and all its amendments. This would give it the authority to negotiate our exit from the EU. While this Act remains in force, we have to go on handing over vast sums of money to the EU and we are still subject to its demands.
“The preoccupation with Article 50 of the European Treaty is a red herring and requires the Government to go cap in hand to Brussels for permission to leave. We should seize the initiative and start the process of getting our country back now, not wait months for an interminable Conservative Party leadership contest, followed by several years while we await permission from Brussels to leave. The Government has the authority of the people to act and it should do so, not sit on its hands.”
Lord Stoddart said: “At the moment, Westminster seems to be playing second fiddle to the European Council. I understand that Mr Cameron is going to write to the President of the Council to set out his proposed negotiations before bringing them to Parliament. I call upon the Prime Minister to lay his proposals before Parliament in the right and proper manner and to do so before he presents them to the Council.
“I would remind Mr Cameron that he is the Prime Minister of a Government and sovereign Parliament at Westminster and he is subject to the traditional obligation of any Prime Minister, namely to consult Parliament first about this or, for that matter, any other major Governmental policy decision.
“Therefore, I have submitted a written question in the House of Lords, asking if the Prime Minister is going to consult Parliament, before going cap in hand to Brussels.”