Business / Hangzhou G20

British PM to put stamp on Brexit before she heads to China for G20

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-08-29 11:12

LONDON - As British Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to head to China for the upcoming G20, she will first hold a critical cabinet meeting with her top ministers at Chequers, the country retreat home for British prime ministers.

Reports Sunday said May intends to reinforce her clear Brexit stance following Britain's June 23 referendum decision that the country will leave the European Union (EU).

Her determination to see through what the British public decided, is likely to dismay supporters of the Remain camp who are still seeking ways of overturning Britain's retreat from Europe.

May wants to make sure before she departs for Hangzhou that world leaders gathering in Hangzhou are in no doubt about her proclamation that Brexit means Brexit.

Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith has already thrown down the gauntlet by saying he will demand either a second referendum or an early general election before any Brexit deal with Europe is inked.

According to weekend media reports, May has been advised by leading constitutional lawyers that she does not have to seek the approval of Parliament before she triggers the Article 50 procedure that will make a parting of the ways with Europe irreversible.

That won't stop a group of lawyers who have already mounted a legal challenge in a bid to force May to hold a parliamentary vote.

The High Court will in October, hear lawyers argue that Article 50 cannot be invoked until the British Parliament's European Communities Act of 1972 is repealed.

The Mail on Sunday described May's Chequers' meeting on Wednesday as a 'back to school' cabinet meeting during which she is expected to order feuding Brexit Ministers to end any turf wars.

It will be May's first meeting at her country retreat since she became prime minister, with the Mail saying it will mark a sharp escalation in May's efforts to assure restless Eurosceptics in her Conservative party that she is on track to deliver an early exit from the EU "and will not fob them off with Brexit-lite".

She will also encourage the three-quarters of cabinet members who campaigned to stay in the EU to identify Brexit opportunities in their own government departments.

Her trip to China will see May meeting US President Obama, with commentators saying she is likely to use the opportunity to gauge the "appetite for mutually beneficial UK-US trade relationships in the future".

The Telegraph in London has quoted government sources saying May will not hold a parliamentary vote on Brexit before opening negotiations to formally trigger Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

Former Labour premier Tony Blair and a number of serving politicians say Members of Parliament could use a parliamentary vote to stop Brexit.

A Downing Street source said: "The Prime Minister has been absolutely clear that the British public have voted and now she will get on with delivering Brexit."

Around 480 of the 650 MPs in the House of Commons campaigned for Britain to stay in the EU at the last election. The upper chamber, the House of Lords, is also to be said overwhelmingly in favor of Britain staying in the EU.

In a speech on the leadership campaign trail a few days ago Labour's Smith said: "Under my leadership we will vote in Parliament to block any attempt to invoke Article 50 until Theresa May commits to a second referendum or a general election on whatever the EU exit deal emerges at the end of the process."

Eurosceptic MP and leave supporter Bill Cash said: "The bottom line is that there is nothing that could possibly be allowed to stand in its way. Everyone in Europe is expecting it, the decision has been taken by the British people and that's it. Let's get on with it."

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