Thu, 03 Nov 2016
NEWBURY MP Richard Benyon has said he will vote in favour of triggering Article 50 if the decision is put before Parliament.
Mr Benyon was speaking after a High Court judge ruled today that the government could not take the decision to begin Brexit negotiations on its own.
The government is expected to appeal the decision.
Newbury’s Tory MP had campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU ahead of the referendum in June with the British public ultimately voting to leave.
Although Mr Benyon’s constituents in Newbury and West Berkshire voted to remain with a majority of 52 per cent.
However he told the Newbury Weekly News today that if the vote was put to parliament he would respect the will of the British public.
He said: “I was an active remainer but I entirely accept the democratic decision taken by the British people and it would be foolish if parliament were to ignore that decision.
He added: “There’s a very clear democratic process.
“It was a national referendum.
“I’m a democrat and anybody who claims to be a democrat has to recognise that the country voted to leave.
“There’s no doubt that the country will leave the EU and I have a mandate to ask the difficult questions on how it does that to make sure we get the very best deal for the country."
The EU's other 27 members have said negotiations about the terms of the UK's exit, which would last last two years, cannot begin until Article 50 has been invoked.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said she intends to start the process by the end of March 2017.
Mr Benyon, who has been Newbury MP since 2005, also said the High Court’s decision presented a “constitutional conundrum”.
He continued: “Are the courts saying they are more important than the decision that the public took in the referendum?
“At some point Article 50 has to be triggered.
“It’s a seismic constitutional decision taken by the High Court.”