Theresa May 'can trigger Brexit without Parliament'

Parliament could be sidelined by Theresa May over Brexit,w ith the Prime Minister reportedly planning to deny them a vote before formerly triggering the process of leaving the EU.

The Prime Minister faces legal challenges over whether she can begin the process without MPs’ approval, but the Daily Telegraph has reported that she has been informed by government lawyers that no approval is necessary.

A Downing Street source has said the report is speculation, but added that Mrs May was “committed to delivering on the verdict the public gave”.

Labour leadership contender Owen Smith has promised to attempt to block the triggering of formal negotiations to leave the EU until there is a second referendum to approve the final Brexit deal.

He said that under his leadership, the Labour Party would oppose triggering Article 50 until the Conservatives arranged a second public vote.

A legal challenge to prevent the Government from triggering Brexit without the prior consent of Parliament is due to be heard in the High Court in October.

Government lawyers are expected to argue that the Prime Minister can use the royal prerogative to start the process of withdrawing, but those mounting the challenge say this is unlawful because only Parliament can authorise triggering Article 50.

Meanwhile, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has suggested Britain could rely on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules to trade with the EU after Brexit.

He said: “I’ve already made it clear that my personal view is we should not seek to remain a member of the customs union nor necessarily remain a full member of the single market, because that would entail putting yourself yet again under the rule of European law.

“And that was one of the key areas that the British public voted for in the process of taking back control.”

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