Hull MPs say they will vote for Brexit - despite backing Remain

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 11 Nov 2016

All three Hull MPs have confirmed they will vote for Brexit if Parliament's approval is needed.

High Court judges ruled last week that Brexit could not go ahead without MPs and peers giving their backing. The Government is appealing the judgement at the Supreme Court, the highest legal adjudicator in the country.

Hull's Labour MPs have confirmed to the Mail that they will not attempt to block the invoking of Article 50, the clause in the Lisbon Treaty that will effectively kick-start the two-year divorce proceedings between the UK and the European Union.

The trio campaigned during the referendum to remain in the 28-country bloc, despite the city voting by 67 per cent to tear up Britain's EU membership.

Karl Turner, MP for Hull East, has written an open letter to his constituents to explain his stance.

He said: "I absolutely and categorically respect the majority of people in East Hull who voted to leave the EU.

"I consider it my duty to make sure your voice is heard loudly and clearly. I will give my full backing to the Government in their endeavours to leave the EU."

The Labour whip said he would use the vote in the House of Commons to fight for "proper protections" on employment rights such as maternity and paternity leave, statutory sick pay and also health and safety legislation.

North Hull MP Diana Johnson used less forthcoming language – calling the result of the referendum "narrow" and "advisory" – but she echoed Mr Turner's commitment to ensuring Article 50 goes unopposed if does come to a Commons vote.

She said: "I fully accept the result and will work to get the very best deal possible for my constituents and the UK in leaving the EU."

Labour grandee Alan Johnson, who led the party's remain campaign, said there had "never been any question" of not honouring the referendum result.

But the Hull West and Hessle MP slammed Theresa May's decision to appeal the High Court judgement, calling it "foolish".

It is due to be heard on December 5, with UKIP leader Nigel Farage promising to organise a 100,000 person march from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square on the day. A judgement would then be expected to follow in January.

Mr Johnson urged the Government to drop its objection, saying: "Parliament and government together should now get on with deciding when and how to trigger Article 50 and stop wasting time and money in the courts."

If the High Court decision stands, both houses would be expected to ratify leaving the EU by approving an Act of Parliament, according to Brexit Secretary and East Yorkshire MP David Davis.

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