MPs must fight to ensure that legislation governing the UK's break from the EU does not come into force until the government's final deal with Brussels is clear, a former attorney general said yesterday.
Dominic Grieve, QC, said that implementation of the EU Withdrawal Bill, which is to be voted on in parliament next week, should be delayed until negotiations between the EU and British ministers were concluded.
"Otherwise, we are simply leaving it to the executive to decide what is best. This is an abdication of our responsibility," he wrote in yesterday's London Evening Standard.
Grieve, who was a prominent Remain campaigner during last year's EU referendum, said that he accepted the public's vote and had himself voted in parliament to trigger the Article 50 departure mechanism.
However, yesterday he warned of the dangers of allowing ministers to have so-called Henry VIII powers after the bill became law. "As presently drafted, no further reference to parliament will in theory be needed before the final ending of our EU membership," he said.
Grieve went on to defend the role of further MP involvement, saying: "Scrutinising detail is not obstructing the referendum result. The electorate did not vote to 'take back control' to see our domestic constitution and liberties vandalised."